Proceedings PaperImaging capabilities of weak-phase interferometric devices
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The first imaging devices of optical interferometry are likely to be of weak phase, typically: a set of three- element arrays, coherent and stable, independently observing the same object. The study of their imaging capabilities essentially addresses the self-calibration problem and its stability. Like in VLBI, the principle of our self- calibration methods consists in preforming a series of alternate phase calibration operations and Fourier synthesis processes. Algebraic graph theory and algebraic number theory prove to be the key topics involved in the phase calibration operation. The latter can often be written in closed form. As expected, the relative expressions explicitly refer to a set of independent closure phases. To illustrate this essential point, we consider the special case of three-element arrays. The corresponding phase calibration formula, which is then particularly simple, provides all the elements for coping with the possible global instabilities. The Fourier synthesis process, which is also involved in the self-calibration cycles, is performed via WIPE, a methodology recently introduced in radio imaging and optical interferometry. The robustness of the image reconstruction process can then be well controlled.