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The Australian National University

Associate Professor Francois Rigaut

Master.Physics, PhD Astrophys., Paris VII Univ.
Adaptive Optics Principal Scientist
ANU College of Science
T: 02 6125 0210

Areas of expertise

  • Optical Physics 0205
  • Photonics, Optoelectronics And Optical Communications 020504
  • Numerical Analysis 010301
  • Astronomical And Space Instrumentation 020102
  • Stellar Astronomy And Planetary Systems 020110
  • Open Software 080306

Research interests

  • Adaptive Optics concepts & implementation
  • Adaptive Optics diversification, application to health sciences
  • Astronomical instrumentation
  • New wavefront sensor concepts
  • Space debris tracking and removal
  • Affordable adaptive optics systems



Dr François Rigaut obtained his PhD from University of Paris 7 in 1992 on the first Adaptive Optics (AO) system for astronomy, COME-ON, then developped in Europe and used at the ESO La Silla observatory. Since then, Dr Rigaut has been involved in the technological and theoretical developments and promotion of Adaptive Optics at several institutes -The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the European Southern Observatory and the Gemini Observatory- and through various instruments: PUEO, NAOS, Altair and lately the Gemini multi-conjugate AO system GeMS, the first and only Laser Guide Star Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics system. Dr Rigaut main theoretical contributions include the proposal and first paper describing Ground Layer AO, the proposal and the principle description of Fourier modelling of AO systems and the first quantification of the Tip-Tilt indetermination problem associated with the use of LGS, together with an analitycal derivation of the noise in Shack-Hartmann Wavefront sensors.  Since January 2012, Dr Rigaut works at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where he now leads AO activities, concentrating on two main projects: A Laser Tomograpy AO system for the Giant Magellanic Telescope and an AO prototype for conditionning of laser beams used in space debris tracking, nudging and de-orbiting. 



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Updated:  20 October 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers