My group is designing and building cutting-edge astronomical instruments, including survey telescopes, and spectrographs. Our main goal is to characterize the transient and variable sky on subsecond to years time scales.

Current projects include:

LAST - The Large Array Survey Telescope (LAST) is a cost-effective survey telescope. LAST is composed of 32, 28-cm f2.2 telescopes equipped with a back-side illuminated CMOS with a plate scale of 1.25''/pix and 7.4 deg2 per telescope. In the near future, 16 telescopes will be added, and in the future, the array will include 72 telescopes. LAST is currently under commissioning and already produced some scientific results. [see Weizmann Astrophysical Observatory page for more details].

MAST - With my colleague Sagi-Ben Ami, we are constructing the Multi-Aperture Spectroscopic Telescope (MAST). MAST will be composed of 20, 60-cm f/3 telescopes. In the focal plane of each telescope, two optical fibers and a guiding camera are located. All the fibers feed a single spectrograph and the traces can combined electronically. Two spectrographs are being built be the Ben-Ami group. DeepSpec - A high throughput, low-resolution (R~500) spectrograph, and HighSpec - a high throughput, limited band, high resolution (R~10,000) spectrograph.

PAST - The Pan-chromatic Array for Survey Telescopes (PAST) is a single mount (LAST-like) carrying four 36-cm f/11 telescopes. In the focal plane of each telescope, a dichroic and two cameras are located. The cameras are equipped with broad-band (1500-2000 Ang) filters. The filters are shifted by about 500 Ang relative to each other such that a narrow-band (500 Ang) photometry is available via the linear combinations of all the other filters, but without losing any photons.

ULTRASAT - A UV space telescope with an unprecedented field of view and sensitivity. ULTRASAT will be able to search and followup for the electromagnetic counterparts of NS-NS mergers, detect young supernovae hours after their explosion and characterize the UV variable and transient sky. [see ULTRASAT page for more details].

W-FAST - We designed and built the Weizmann Fast Astronomical Survey Telescopes (W-FAST), which is a 55 cm f/1.96 Schmidt telescope equipped with a fast-readout CMOS camera. The telescope was designed and built in the Weizmann Institute [see Weizmann Astrophysical Observatory page for more details].


Left: Ofir Hershko inserting the field flattner into the W-FAST I telescope optical assembly in the Weizmann labs.

Bottom: Eramn Ofek inspecting the W-FAST corrector during the assembly in the Weizmann labs.