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Augmented design for a fully automated alignment system at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer
Author(s): James J. D. Luis; Robert Blasi; David F. Buscher; Allen Farris; Robert Kelly; Robert Ligon
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Paper Abstract

Stable beam alignment of an optical interferometer is crucial for maintaining a usable signal-to-noise ratio during science measurements on faint astronomical targets. The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer will use an Automated Alignment System (AAS) that performs a start-of-night alignment procedure and subsequent alignment corrections in between observations, all without the need for human intervention. Its design has recently been updated in line with a revised error budget for MROI requiring that two axis drifts during science operations should not exceed 15 milliarcseconds in tilt, referred to the sky, nor 1% of the beam diameter in shear. For each beam line, the AAS provides two reference light beams, a pair of quad cells to monitor coarse alignment, and a tilt and shear detector for tracking fine drifts. The tilt and shear detector is a novel application of a Shack-Hartmann array that permits the simultaneous measurement tilt and shear well within requirements for MROI. Results of laboratory testing and simulations are presented here.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2018
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10701, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI, 107010M (9 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312549
Show Author Affiliations
James J. D. Luis, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Robert Blasi, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
David F. Buscher, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Allen Farris, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Robert Kelly, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Robert Ligon, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10701:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI
Michelle J. Creech-Eakman; Peter G. Tuthill; Antoine Mérand, Editor(s)

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