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Leading award for astronomy instrumentation

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Professor Peter Ade

Professor Peter Ade, of the School of Physics and Astronomy, has received one of the Royal Astronomical Society's most prestigious awards for his work on new instrumentation designs and manufacturing techniques.

The Society's Jackson-Gwilt Medal is awarded for achievement in invention, improvement or developments in astronomical instrumentation or techniques. Professor Ade was honoured this year for his work in the development of cryogenic receivers for infrared astronomy.

At Cardiff, Professor Ade has created one of the world's largest infrared and millimetre wave instrumentation groups. For more than 30 years, optical components designed and manufactured by his group have been used in almost every major infrared astronomical facility.

Professor Ade pioneered the design of instruments cooled to ultra-low temperatures (~ 0.1 K above absolute zero). He has worked on a long list of international projects, including the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and the Boomerang and Blast telescopes which were carried above Antarctica by balloon. His current space-borne projects include the joint ESA/NASA Hershel Space Observatory and Planck Surveyor satellites both of which will be launched in April this year.

Commenting on all of this year's Royal Astronomical Society award winners, the Society's President, Professor Andy Fabian, said: "The RAS is delighted to honour the work of these talented individuals and groups, young and old, both here in the UK and across the world. We are privileged to live in a time when astronomers and geophysicists are pushing back the frontiers of science and it is fitting to recognise their truly outstanding work."

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