• Keck Observatory Congratulates Akamai Interns.

    August 19, 2021

    Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaiʻi – Congratulations to our esteemed 2021 Akamai Workforce Initiative Cohort—Kevin Diep, Dennis Palad, and Leinani Roylo—who just completed a summer internship with us to gain hands-on experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). 
    The Akamai Internship Program is a Hawaiʻi-based workforce development initiative offering local college students the opportunity to develop science and technology skills while working on real-life STEM projects. 
    Keck Observatory was honored to be among the organizations statewide participating in the Akamai Workforce Initiative; thanks to this program, we have worked with brilliant young minds every summer for the past 18 years. We wish our latest cohort a warm congratulations and the best in their future endeavors!
    Read on to learn about the projects completed by Kevin, Dennis, and Leinani:

    Kevin Diep, an Oʻahu native and University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa graduate with a B.S. in Astrophysics and Mathematics, supported an ongoing effort to upgrade Keck Observatory's Adaptive Optics (AO) system. AO helps improve image clarity by removing distortions created by Earth's atmosphere. Kevin focused on writing an algorithm that could measure and store parameters for these distortions as part of the Keck All-sky Precision Adaptive Optics (KAPA) project. The algorithm also automates the process, making it more efficient.  

    Dennis Palad developed new graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for the KAPA project. The new GUIs are intended to: maximize screen space, improve navigation while maintaining familiarity for users, and implement new capabilities. Once KAPA is ready, these GUIs are recommended to be the main observing tools for Keck Observatory’s Laser Tomography AO (LTAO). Dennis is a Hilo High School alumnus and Junior at Rochester Institute of Technology pursuing a B.S. in Computing Security with a minor in Economics.

    Leinani Roylo helped design a safety system to add another layer of protection for technicians who change out Keck Observatory’s mirror segments every month so they can routinely clean, re-coat and repair them. Leinani took an in-depth assessment of the situation and devised a two-part solution incorporating a safety cage and alignment tool that will guide the mirror segment during the segment exchange process. Originally from Mililani, Oʻahu, Leinani is a Kamehameha Schools Kapālama alumna and a graduate of Brown University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
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