Rob is an astronomer with twenty years of experience developing instrumentation for observatories around the world. His focus is spectroscopy, the process of splitting up the light from stars and galaxies into it's component colours. This allows astronomers to examine the fundamental physical properties of distant objects.
As well as working with light visible to the human eye, Rob specializes in instruments (cameras and spectrographs) at infrared wavelengths longer than the human eye can detect.
Rob is leading the Giant Magellan Telescope Integral Field Spectrograph (GMTIFS) project at ANU. This ambitious program will deliver the GMTIFS instrument to the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) high in the Chilean Andes. The 25 meter diameter mirror of the GMT will, when coupled to it's laser guide star adaptive optics system, allow it to record images ten-times sharper than the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Adaptive optics is essential to remove the blurring effect of the Earths atmosphere.
As part of the wider instrumentation and sensor program at the ANU Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC), Rob is also developing sensors for Earth observation remote sensing. The teams focus is currently on small form-factor sensor suitable for deployment on Australian led satellite missions that address areas of Australian national priority such as bushfire risk management (the OzFuel program), agricultural monitoring and water security.