Simona Lombardo is involved in R&D activities in astronomical instrumentation. She was previously engaged in design, contruction, characterization and commissioning of a calibration device for integral field spectrograph, SCALA (SNIFS Calibration Apparatus). She is currently employed as post-doc at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique De Marseille working on end-to-end simulations and construction of CASTLE (Calar Alto Schmidt Lemaître Telescope), to test the technology of curved detectors and observe the ultra-low surface brightness Universe and search and detect transients objects.
2012-2017: PhD Astronomy
A flux calibration device for Integral Field Spectrographs.
The manuscript is downloadable at this link.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.
During my Ph.D. I've been mainly working to develop a flux calibration device for the Super Nova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS), the SNIFS Calibration Apparatus (SCALA), which is mounted at the UH88 telescope's dome (Mauna Kea) and running since one year. SCALA's goal would be to calibrate the "telescope + SNIFS" system at the 1% precision level and, with such an accurate calibration, refine the primary standard star network. I've been involved in the development of SCALA on several levels: I've contributed to the construction of the optical model, I've lead the simulations and lab testing, I've also participated and planned the two commissioning stages. Finally, I analyzed and evaluated the calibration data acquired obtaining throughtput curves.
2009-2012: Master's degree
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Thesis title: "Readout system for transition edge sensors."
Department of Physics, University of Rome, Italy.
2006-2009: Bachelor's degree
Physics and Astrophysics
Dissertation title: "The search for the missing barions with observations of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect."
Department of Physics, University of Rome, Italy.
List of Projects
The Calar Alto Schmidt-Lemaître Telescope (CASTLE) will use the new technology of curved detectors to address two cutting-edge astrophysical topics: the search of the electromagnetic counterpart of gravitational waves and the observation of ultra-low surface brightness objects. This telescope will be located at the Calar Alto Observatory and it will also be used as an educational tool for secondary schools. Part of the observing time, ~20% will be opened to the community. The full project will be carried out in collaboration with a team at IAA-CSIC (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in the Spanish National Research Council).
CASTLE has an off-axis fully reflective Schmidt design, composed of an anamorphic primary mirror of ~40 cm (whose purpose is to replace the entrance correcting Schmidt plate), a flat secondary mirror and a spherical tertiary mirror that focuses the light onto a convex focal surface. The latter will be equipped with a convex spherically curved CMOS sensor (GigaPYX 8k×5k with 4.4 µm pixels) with a radius of curvature of ~900 mm.
The advantages of such telescope are due to its unique design that combines: a) the wide field-of-view of a Schmidt telescope (2.36ºx1.56º with ~1” per pixel), b) the removal of supporting spiders and related diffraction effects, c) the removal of field flattening optics provided by the usage of a curved sensor to match its curved focal surface. All these elements contribute to generate a Point Spread Function with very low wings, uniform across the full field-of-view and to highly suppress ghost reflections. The detector will be cooled down with a Peltier system, in order to decrease the impact of dark current, and the telescope will be equipped with a set of filters: g, r and wide-band g+r (luminescence filter) for its science applications.
As the telescope facility will be robotic, the telescope will also become an ideal tool for the search of astrophysical transients and outreach programs.
After having ascertained the predicted performances of CASTLE through photon Monte Carlo simulations, we are now proceeding with the construction of the telescope. The status list below will keep track of the work done or ungoing in the upcoming months.
- Secondary mirror: ordered and under manufacturing.
- Thertiary mirror: under manufacturing.
- Primary mirror: call for manufacturing will be issued in January 2020.
List of Publications
Lombardo, S.; Muslimov, E.; Lemaître, G.; Hugot, E.
Lombardo, S.; Behaghel, T.; Chambion, B.; Jahn, W.; Hugot, E.; Muslimov, E.; Roulet, M.; Ferrari, M.; Gaschet, C.; Caplet, S.; Henry, D.
Lombardo, S.; Küsters, D.; Kowalski, M.; Aldering, G.; Antilogus, P.; Bailey, S.; Baltay, C.; Barbary, K.; Baugh, D.; Bongard, S.; Boone, K.; Buton, C.; Chen, J.; Chotard, N.; Copin, Y.; Dixon, S.; Fagrelius, P.; Feindt, U.; Fouchez, D.; Gangler, E.; Hayden, B.; Hillebrandt, W.; Hoffmann, A.; Kim, A. G.; Leget, P.-F.; McKay, L.; Nordin, J.; Pain, R.; Pécontal, E.; Pereira, R.; Perlmutter, S.; Rabinowitz, D.; Reif, K.; Rigault, M.; Rubin, D.; Runge, K.; Saunders, C.; Smadja, G.; Suzuki, N.; Taubenberger, S.; Tao, C.; Thomas, R. C. A&A accepted.
Küsters, Daniel; Lombardo, Simona; Kowalski, Marek; Aldering, Greg; Nordin, Jakob; Rigault, Mickael. SPIE, 2016.
Lombardo, Simona; Aldering, Greg; Hoffmann, Akos; Kowalski, Marek; Kuesters, Daniel; Reif, Klaus; Rigault, Michael. SPIE, 2014.
Torrioli, Guido; Lombardo, Simona; Macculi, Claudio; Piro, Luigi; Colasanti, Luca. SPIE, 2014.