Research: Kavan U. Ratnatunga

Most of my research has been focused on the creation and and statistical analysis astronomical data catalogs in optical wavelengths, including the discovery of rare astronomical objects by automating image analysis of large astronomical databases.

1992- The Structure and Morphology of faint galaxy images observed with the Hubble Space Telescope.

I formulated the automated object detection and maximum likelihood image analysis pipeline for the Hubble Space Telescope, Medium Deep Survey key project. In addition to many new results in cosmology this survey has led to the discovery of a new class of Gravitational Lens candidates. <
1985- HST Key project: Medium Deep Survey,
PI: Richard Griffiths,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1992-97 Cycle 6 GO Pure Parallel Cycle 1-6
HDF ARC : Deep Mining of Hubble Deep Field
Principal Investigator
1997- HST Archival project: Morphology of WFPC2 Galaxies
PI: Kavan Ratnatunga,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1997-98 Cycle 7 ARC : Quantitative Morphology of Cluster Galaxies
1999-00 Cycle 8 ARC : Morphology of faint WFPC2 galaxies
2001-02 Cycle 10 GO ARC : Cosmic Shear at Cosmological Distances
2002-04 Cycle 11 GO PPO : Cosmic Shear - with ACS Pure Parallel Observations

1989- The Structure of our Galaxy from Maximum likelihood analysis of Star catalogs.

As a Research Associate at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, Canada (1986-88), and subsequently at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt MD (1989-90), I developed maximum likelihood statistical analysis algorithms to overcome sample selection effects inherent in any catalog, and derive unbiased quantitative parameter estimates of global models. These procedures have now been applied to analysis of the HIPPARCOS catalog
1992-98 Maximum-likelihood analysis of Hipparcos astrometric data
PI: Stefano Casertano, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy,
John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

1984-1988 Modeling the observed kinematic and photometric distributions of Star catalogs.

As a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton NJ (1984-86), I developed IASG, a software interface between theoretical models of our Galaxy and observables in stellar catalogs such as color-apparent magnitude, trigonometric parallax, proper motion and radial velocity of field stars.

1979-1983 The discovery and analysis of in-situ K giants in the Galactic Halo.

For my PhD thesis at Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, of the Australian National University (1979-83) I developed automated survey procedures to discover rare in-situ field K-giants in the Galactic halo.