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U New Mexico Taps Private Partner for Senior Engineering Project

The University of New Mexico recently collaborated with a private partner for a senior project in electrical and computer engineering.

Dubbed "Adaptive Optics," the project asked students to "model and write matrix laboratory code to perform adaptive optics correction" to create a corrected, undistorted image from a distorted wavefront captured by large mirror telescopes at the Starfire Optical Range in Albuquerque and the Maui Space Surveillance Center, according to news release.

The students were mentored by Northrop Grumman engineers for eight months as they developed algorithms to remove image degradations created by things such as gravity and atmospheric disturbances. The company also "also funded test configurations of mirrors and the high-power computing time needed for students to model the effect of the Earth's conditions on the telescopes," according to a news release.

"The electrical and computer engineering senior design class project allows our students to work with industry partners to design a project from conception to execution," said Rich Compeau , an electrical and computer engineering instructor at the University of New Mexico, in a prepared statement. "Because adaptive optics and real-time programming are beyond the scope of our undergraduate curriculum, the students working on the adaptive optics team gained critical skills from working with Northrop Grumman that will aid them in having a successful career."

New Mexico's flagship institution, the University of New Mexico serves more than 35,000 students and offers 87 bachelor's degrees, 72 master's degrees, and 38 doctoral programs. More information is available at

Visit to learn more about Northrop Grumman.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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