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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Structural influences on intensity interferometry
Author(s): Arup Maji; Mark Harris
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Paper Abstract

Intensity interferometry (II) is an alternate form of creating images of distant objects. It is significantly less sensitive to atmospheric distortions and aberrations of telescope surfaces than conventional amplitude-based imaging. The deficiencies of II can be overcome as photodetectors’ read-out rates are becoming faster and computers more powerful. In recognition of the possibility of very large space-based imaging systems, this paper investigates how the deformation of a large, thin optical surface would influence the accuracy of II. Based on the theoretical foundation of II, an optical ray-tracing algorithm was used to examine how the statistics of a photon stream changes from the source to the detector. Ray-tracing and finite element analyses of the structure were thereafter integrated to quantify how the correlation of the intensity field changes as the reflective structure deforms. Varying the positions of the detector from the focal plane and the surface profile of the mirror provided an understanding and quantification of how the various scenarios affect the statistics of the detected light and the correlation measurement. This research and analysis provide the means to quantify how structural perturbations of focal mirrors affect the statistics of photon stream detections inherent in II instrumentation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2016
PDF: 10 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 2(1) 014003 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.014003
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 2, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Arup Maji, The Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Mark Harris, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)

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