The EMCCD Revolution in Astronomical Speckle Interferometry
Astronomical speckle interferometry - the technique of using high-speed imaging to 'freeze' out the blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence and recover diffraction-limited imaging from large telescopes - has been employed at observatories since its inception in the 1970's. However, earlier photographic techniques were limited in their ability to easily, and with sensitivity, take advantage of the capability. The advent of electron-multiplying charged coupled device (EMCCD) imagers have revolutionized the field with high-speed, high-sensitivity digital imaging.
Dr. Van Belle is an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory, and Chief Scientist of the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer, both in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is an internationally recognized expert in the construction and use of optical telescope arrays, for carrying out astronomical observations at the highest levels of spatial resolution. His telescope projects have been pioneering in the fields of stellar surface imaging and characterization of exoplanet host stars. At home he is a not-quite-incompetent homebrewer, and is restoring a vintage pinball machine.