Christoph Baranec is an astronomer (B.S., Caltech, '01) and optical scientist (Ph. D., U. Arizona, '07) specializing in adaptive optics systems, components and techniques. Currently an assistant astronomer at the University of Hawai'i's Institute for Astronomy, he is bringing his expertise with adaptive optics to the telescopes of Mauna Kea. He previously led an international collaboration to build the world's first fully automated laser adaptive optics system, Robo-AO (http://robo-ao.org), and is currently using it to take high-resolution images of all the candidate exoplanet host stars identified by NASA’s Kepler mission. He was additionally on the development team for the world's first purpose built visible-light extreme adaptive optics system, PALM-3000 at Palomar Observatory, which was recently used to take simultaneous spectra of four extrasolar planets. He is additionally involved in upgrading the PALM-3000 system with a laser guide star to greatly expand the number of targets available for high-contrast imaging.
Robo-AO Kitt Peak: status of the system and deployment of a sub-electron readnoise IR camera to detect low-mass companions
`imaka: a path-finder ground-layer adaptive optics system for the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope on Maunakea
KAPAO first light: the design, construction and operation of a low-cost natural guide star adaptive optics system
The Robo-AO software: fully autonomous operation of a laser guide star adaptive optics and science system
Real-time atmospheric turbulence profile estimation using modal covariance measurements from multiple guide stars
Progress towards tomographic wavefront reconstruction using dynamically refocused Rayleigh laser beacons