Ryan was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, graduating from Waiakea High School in 2019 where he was actively involved in the FIRST robotics and CyberPatriot teams. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at California State University, Chico. At Chico, he has helped mentor students in a summer engineering program and is also working with the Micromouse team to make a maze-solving robot. After graduating, he plans to get a job in the field of computer hardware design or computer security.

Home Island: Big Island

High School: Waiakea High School

Institution when accepted: California State University, Chico

Akamai Project: Characterizing a Low-Cost Commercial Camera for use with an Adaptive Optics Wavefront Sensor

Project Site: Institute for Astronomy, Hilo (IfA) – Hilo, Hawai‘i Island HI

Mentor: Mark Chun

Project Abstract:

The Institute for Astronomy in Hilo is upgrading their adaptive optics system for the UH 88” telescope, and will need a high-speed camera to help detect and correct for continuously changing atmospheric distortions. Specialized cameras made for low-noise and low-latency applications like this can be very expensive, at around $250,000. This project consists of testing certain performance characteristics of a $2,000 commercially-available camera to verify that it meets the needs of the telescope’s adaptive optics system. Experiments were designed and implemented using a Raspberry Pi, an oscilloscope, and programs written in C and Python to quantify the frame rate, latency, and noise characteristics of the camera. Latency and frame rate tests have proven that the selected camera is likely to be of sufficient quality to use with the wavefront sensor, however data on other essential characteristics including linearity and certain noise measurements still need to be collected. If the camera satisfies these criteria and is found to be acceptable for use with the adaptive optics system, the telescope will be able to save money on a costly component in the adaptive optics system.