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Optical Engineering

Computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its Astronomical Multibeam Recombiner instrument
Author(s): Frank Przygodda; Thomas Bloecker; Karl-Heinz Hofmann; Gerd Weigelt
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Paper Abstract

We present computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) of the European Southern Observatory and the Astronomical Multibeam Recombiner (AMBER) phase-closure instrument. These simulations include both the astrophysical modeling of a stellar object by radiative-transfer calculations and the simulation of light propagation from the object to the detector (through atmosphere, telescopes, and the AMBER instrument), simulation of photon noise and detector readout noise, and finally data processing of the interferograms. The results show the dependence of the visibility error bars on the following observational parameters: different seeing during the observation of object and reference star (Fried parameters r0object and r0,ref ranging between 0.9 and 1.2 m), different residual tip-tilt error (?tt,object and ?tt,ref ranging between 0.1% and 20% of the Airy-disk diameter), and object brightness (Kobject= 0.7 to 10.2 mag, Kref= 0.7 mag). As an example, we focus on stars in late stages of stellar evolution and study one of the key objects of that kind, the dusty supergiant IRC+10420, which is rapidly evolving on human time scales. We show computer simulations of VLT interferometry (visibility and phase- closure measurements) of IRC+10420 with two and three auxiliary telescopes (in AMBER wide-field mode, i.e., without fiber optic spatial filters) and discuss whether the visibility accuracy is sufficient to distinguish between different theoretical model predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 40(5) doi: 10.1117/1.1361106
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 40, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Frank Przygodda, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie (Germany)
Thomas Bloecker, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie (Germany)
Karl-Heinz Hofmann, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie (Germany)
Gerd Weigelt, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie (Germany)

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