Giant Astronomical Telescopes for the 21st Century



A joint Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Astronomy graduate seminar to explore the science and technology of the next generation of giant astronomical telescopes.

Instructors Class flyer

James Graham (Astronomy,
Dave Auslander (ME,
Michael Helmbrecht (EECS,
Roger Howe (EECS,
Andy Packard (ME, pack@ME.Berkeley.EDU)


For a decade the University of California, together with Caltech, has operated the twin Keck Telescopes. With 10-meter diameter primary mirrors, these are the largest astronomical telescopes in the world. This class will attempt to answer the question: "Where do we go after the Keck era?"

The enormous potential of the next generation of large optical/infrared telescopes was recognized by the National Research Council's Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, which recommended the construction of a 30-meter telescope as its highest priority large project among ground-based initiatives for the next decade. The 30-meter as currently envisioned will use a Keck-style segmented primary mirror.

The University of California is studying concepts for the next generation of large telescopes, and has proposed that the Keck-style segmented design be applied to a 30 meter diameter telescope.  The CELT (California Extremely Large Telescope) is a design concept for the next generation of very large optical/infrared telescopes.

Other large telescopes projects include , the US national study of GSMT led byAURA's New Initiatives Office , the European OWL and EURO 50.

Key topics

Our goal is to engage graduate students from the Engineering Schools (CE/ME/EECS), Astronomy and Physics. Class topics span a broad range of interdisiplinary material. Therefore we will provide instruction in the following key topics:

Lecture Schedule

Class List



Lecture topics

Research projects

Reading material