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James Osborn

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  • [email protected]
  • +44(0)191 3342277
  • Centre for Advanced Instrumentation
    Department of Physics
    University of Durham
    South Road
    DH1 3LE




I am an Assistant Professor and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, University of Durham, UK. My research is concerned with forecasting, modelling, measuring and mitigating the Earth’s atmospheric turbulence for applications such as astronomy and free-space optical communications. This has led to several novel instrumentation packages deployed at some of the world’s premier observatories and to many strong international collaborations.

  • Atmospheric Physics

    The Earth’s turbulent atmosphere has two detrimental effects on light propagation, i) the image appears to wobble and blurs, losing spatial information, and ii) the brightness varies, seen as twinkling and called scintillation, limiting the temporal photometric precision. My research is concerned with forecasting, modelling, measuring and mitigating this atmospheric turbulence.

  • Free-space Optical Communications

    The large bandwidth available from using visible light, as opposed to conventional radio communication, will enable 10-100 times higher data rates, helping us to meet demands for higher capacity data transmissions that societies around the world have become accustomed to, as well as to increase the volume of data retrieved from space science satellites used for Earth observation, inter-planetary and deep space missions.

  • Astronomical Instrumentation

    The full potential of ground based optical telescopes can only be realised with the careful application of sophisticated instrumentation. I am particularly interested in Adaptive Optics technologies for wide-field and high-contrast imaging and high-precision time-resolved photometry.

Recent Activities

Durham Univeristy
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