Automation of an astronomical CCD testbench using Python

Prior to the scientific operation of ESO's detector systems at the telescopes in Chile, each single detector including electronics undergoes extensive testing and optimisation in Garching. The opto-electronic characterisation and testing is performed on dedicated  detector testbenches that allow for a controlled illumination of the precious cryogenically cooled astronomical detectors. Flat illumination or the projection of patterns at defined wavelength and bandwidth for a defined integration time form the basis for an elaborate analysis of detector performance.

1) One such readily set up CCD testbench is to be put into operation and -prior to that- requires characterisation of illumination profile and illumination stability using at least 2 different available light sources. With support of detector experts the goal is an end to end performance test of an astronomical detector. This will be achieved by making use and adaptation of existing python routines and direct involvement with sensitive hardware. 

2) In addition an automation of the detector point spread funtion (PSF) measurement is required.
This will be achieved by use and modification of existing python routines to control a xyz translation stage and a dedicated detector illumination setup, CCD image acquisition and data analysis assisted by experienced colleagues. 

Beside Python programming skills, both tasks require the handling and operation of sensitive optical and mechanical equipment as well as a brief documentation of procedures and results.


Supervisor: Eric Müller