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Proceedings Paper

New University of Puerto Rico/Air Force Research Laboratory initiative in adaptive optics interferometry
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Paper Abstract

The University ofPuerto Rico, Mayaguez, in conjunction with the Deep Space Surveillance Branch (DEBS) ofthe USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) Phillips Site (PL) in Albuquerque, NM is initiating an Adaptive Optics (AO) Interferometry program. The program will begin with four projects. We currently have finding for a three element optical interferometer, described in this paper, using Technology developed at DEBS, for a new wavefront sensor and a Liquid Crystal (LC) wavefront compensator being presented at this meeting'9.and a Low Light Level Fringe Tracker (LLLFT)"6'1"24 Michelson: Interferometer. We are also developing a program to put a similarly configured inexpensive two-element interferometer test-bed in orbit. The interferometer would have optical elements on a 10-meter boom. It will use Aperture Synthesis by rotation and motion ofthe elements along the booms. The third project under development would incorporate the initial 3-element interferometer into a larger array with the additional collaboration ofNew Mexico Tech and New Mexico State University at a 10,600' site near Socorro, NM. As part ofthe ground based interferometry effort we are trying to develop inexpensive meter class telescopes. The 0.75meter telescopes we are building for our small interferometer will serve as prototypes and system test-beds. The telescopes will be robotic, remotely operable, essentially self-orienting, and portable. We hope to produce such systems for commercial distribution for approximately $250K each. All ofthe ground-based interferometric systems will be configured for remote operation and independent use ofsub-arrays while upgrades and repairs are underway. The major thrust ofthe UPR effort will be to develop inexpensive interferometers for diverse applications with the low light level capabilities and the LC adaptive optics developed at the Phillips Site. Particular applications will be for high-resolution astronomy and satellite imaging. The adaptive optics will be such that they can be placed on the individual telescopes and are not part ofthe interferometer. They will then serve as templates fbr AO systems ofgeneral interest. As an additional part ofall ofthese projects we will try to develop the use ofoptical fibers for several applications. We would like to couple the telescopes with fiber if we can develop an efficient way to couple the output signal from the telescope to the fibers. in addition we hope to use fiber stretchers for optical path compensation to replace expensive conventional optical delay lines. Key words; adaptive optics, interferometer, Liquid Crystal wavefront compensation

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317095
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey Foster Friedman, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Gary C. Loos, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jeffrey T. Baker, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Lyle G. Finkner, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Darryl J. Sanchez, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Isabelle Percheron, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Sergio R. Restaino, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3350:
Astronomical Interferometry
Robert D. Reasenberg, Editor(s)

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