Rebecca Coles

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I am a member of the Experimental Development team at National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLSII), where I work on AI and machine learning.

I did my PhD at Wayne State University, where I was advised by David Cinabro and funded by WSU, with additional funding from the Department of Energy Grant: Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR).

I've also worked at:

Jump to:   GitHub Projects,   Grants,   Papers,   Presentations and Events,   Thesis
GitHub Projects

NSLSII CHX Data Acquisition from BlueSky
project page

Retrieve data from CHX (NSLSII Hard X-ray BlueSky servers).

DESI Commissioning Instrument Metrology Software
project page

Software for the DESI Commissioning Instrument metrology program.

General Image Processing Functions
project page

A partial record of all of the day to day image processing functions that I create and use. This project was later used in the development of the DESI Commissioning Instrument software.

Image Centroiding (openCV)
project page

A small body of python classes used to find the center of various circles present in an image. This project was later used in the development of the DESI Commissioning Instrument software.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Metrology (RAFT Sensor Assembly)
project page

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is a wide-field survey reflecting telescope. The CCDs for the camera are packaged into a 3 x 3 Raft Sensor Assembly (RSA). This program simulates the absolute height of RSAs (Raft Sensor Assembly). Put simply, you would use this program to simulate the height of nine sensors sitting on top of their baseplate.

LINT (Longitudinal Investigation of Non-Transparency)
project page

A program uses flats from CCDs to find the amount of dust, debris, or other contamination present on a sensor's surface (In Development).

What the Program Does:

  • Remove overscan columns
  • Scale the flats to a common mean
  • Stack the flats using a median (median stack)
  • Subtract the average sky value
  • Run Source Extractor on the image to detect the debris
  • Print a detailed map of the debris locations
  • Analyze and plot histograms showing the amount of contamination
  • Batch process data to show the accumulation of debris over time
  • lone Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Supernova Principal Component Analysis
    project page

    Programs that I wrote to principal component analyze photometric light curves for u, g, r, i, z filter bands as well as redshift.


    Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award
    Wayne State University, November 6, 2015   (Grant)

    Rebecca Ann Coles, a graduate research assistant in Wayne State University’s Department of Physics, has been awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award. The award is for the proposed SCGSR research project, Quantum Efficiency Calibration for Large Synoptic Survey telescope CCD Sensors, to be conducted at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The selection is in recognition of outstanding academic accomplishments and the merit of the SCGSR research proposal, and reflects Coles’ potential to advance the Ph.D. studies and make important contributions to the mission of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


    DESI Commissioning Instrument Metrology
    Rebecca A. Coles, David Brooks, Mark Derwent, Paul Martini, Thomas O'Brien, Ashley Ross, Suk Sien Tie
    Proc. SPIE 10706, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation III, 107061L (10 July 2018)
    arxiv page

    An Automated System to Measure the Quantum Efficiency of CCDs for Astronomy
    R. Coles, J. Chiang, D. Cinabro, J. Haupt, H. Neal, A. Nomerotski, P. Takacs
    Journal of Instrumentation, Volume 12, April 2017
    iopscience page

    CCD Research and Development at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    C. J. Bebek; R. A. Coles; P. Denes; F. Dion; J. H. Emes; R. Frost; D. E. Groom; R. Groulx; S. Haque; S. E. Holland; A. Karcher; W. F. Kolbe; J. S. Lee; N. P. Palaio; N. A. Roe; C. H. Tran; G. Wang
    Proc. SPIE 8453, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V, 845305 (25 September 2012)
    spie page

    Presentations and Events

    Department of Energy's CyberForce Competition
    BNL, Upton New York, November 16, 2019   (Cyber Security Operations Event)
    Competition Website,   CyberForce News Coverage  

    The Department of Energy (DOE), capitalizing on the expertise of current national laboratory staff that previously hosted four successful cyber defense competitions to exercise interactive, scenario-based events, where teams engage in cybersecurity activities includes methods, practices, strategy, policy, and ethics.

    Gordon Research Conference: X-Ray Science
    Stonehill College, Easton Massachusetts, July 28 - August 2, 2019   (Poster Presentation)

    The Synchrotron Radiation Workshop software (SRW) generates simulations of coherent X-ray scattering and imaging experiments on user-defined samples. SRW supports simulations of both fully and partially coherent radiation propagation through X-ray and infrared beamlines at modern light source facilities. Detailed simulations of coherent X-ray scattering experiments are of paramount importance for modern storage-ring based SR sources.

    NSLS-II Seminar: DESI Commissioning Instrument and Metrology
    BNL NSLSII, Upton New York, February 8, 2019   (Oral Presentation)

    The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the Universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation technique. The spectra of 35 million galaxies and quasars over 14000 sq deg will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners.

    Particle, Astro, and Nuclear Physics Seminar (PAN): DESI Commissioning Instrument and Metrology
    Wayne State University, November 30, 2018   (Oral Presentation)

    We used use the commissioning instrument and metrology program to measure the absolute three axis Cartesian coordinates of the optical devices on the commissioning instrument which will be needed to ensure that we accurately map the DESI correctors optical distortions.

    SPIE: DESI Commissioning Instrument Metrology
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes, Austin Texas, July 10, 2018   (Oral Presentation)
    spie page

    The DESI fibers feed ten broad-band spectrographs. We will describe the methods and results for the commissioning instrument metrology program.

    STEM-Prep Summer Institute (SPSI): Dark Matter and Dark Energy
    BNL STEM Prep Summer Institute, Upton New York , August 3, 2017   (Oral Presentation)
    education page

    STEM Prep Summer Institute is a four week enrichment program for students who are members of an under-represented minority (African ancestry, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander) in sciences. The program consists of four one-week modules covering topics in physics, biology, chemistry, scientific computing and environmental science.

    Precision Astronomy with Fully Depleted CCDs: LSST CCDs
    BNL, Upton New York, December 1, 2016   (Poster Presentation)

    The Workshop on Precision Astronomy with Fully Depleted CCDs will focus on topics of making precision astronomical measurements of flux (photometry), position (astrometry) and shapes (weak lensing) with thick, deep-depleted CCD detectors. Impact of sensor related effects on the Dark Energy science will be addressed through presentations and discussions.

    Girls Inc. of Long Island: CCDs in Telescopes
    BNL, Upton New York, October 9, 2016   (Oral Presentation)

    Inspiring girls to be Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold; Girls Inc. came to Brookhaven to learn about our STEM projects.

    National Lab Science Day
    Washington DC, April 20, 2016   (Oral Presentation)
    photo page

    Brookhaven Lab was well represented at "National Lab Science Day" on Capitol Hill April 20, as leaders, scientists, and support staff from across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex showcased the national labs' exciting research, facilities, and capabilities for elected officials and staffers.

    LSST at AAS 227th Meeting
    AAS, Kissimmee Florida, January 5, 2016   (Poster Presentation)

    LSST 2015 Project and Community Workshop
    Kitsap Conference Center, Bremerton WA, December 24, 2015   (Oral Presentation)

    PubSci: The Dark Universe
    BNL, Upton New York, November 6, 2015   (Oral Presentation)

    PubSci lets you chat with expert scientists over a drink. See the casual side of cutting-edge research and discovery happening every day at BNL. This series hops around Long Island covering different topics from the Big Bang to tomorrow’s technologies. Stay tuned for our next event coming to a neighborhood near you.


    An Automated System to Measure the Quantum Efficiency of CCDs for Astronomy
    Wayne State University, January 2016   (PhD)

    Abstract: We describe a system to measure the Quantum Efficiency in the wavelength range of 300nm to 1100nm of 40x40 mm n-channel CCD sensors for the construction of the 3.2 gigapixel LSST focal plane. The technique uses a series of instruments to create a very uniform flux of photons of controllable intensity in the wavelength range of interest across the face the sensor. This allows the absolute Quantum Efficiency to be measured with an accuracy in the 1% range. This system will be part of a production facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the basic component of the LSST camera.​

    An Apparatus for Verification of Absolute Calibration of Quantum Efficiency for Charge-Coupled Devices
    Wayne State University, January 2012   (MSc)

    Abstract: The LBNL Microsystems Laboratory produces backside illuminated, high resistivity, p-channel, charge-coupled devices (CCDs). A system was developed to test the quantum efficiency (QE) of the CCDs; the percentage of electrons that are emitted from the CCD surface per amount of light that it's exposed to. The QE system was designed and constructed to test CCDs of a much smaller size then what is currently produced. To continue testing, I redesigned the QE apparatus to make room for the new, larger size, CCDs while still preserving measurement accuracy. I removed the photodiode that formally sat alongside the CCD in the Dewar, and installed it in a separate container. Instead of the CCD and the photodiode taking flux measurements simultaneously, the processes are now preformed separately. The error caused by the separation has remained less than 1.78%.