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Proceedings Paper

Working with a space-based optical interferometer: HST Fine Guidance Sensor 3 small-field astrometry
Author(s): G. Fritz Benedict; Barbara McArthur; Edmund P. Nelan; William H. Jefferys; Otto G. Franz; Larry H. Wasserman; Darrell B. Story; Peter J. Shelus; A. L. Whipple; Arthur J. Bradley; R. L. Duncombe; Q. Wang; Paul D. Hemenway; William F. van Altena; Laurence W. Fredrick
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Paper Abstract

Space-based interferometry already exists. We describe our experiences with on-orbit calibration and scientific observations with Fine Guidance Sensor 3 (FGS 3), a white- light interferometer aboard Hubble Space Telescope. Our goal, 1 millisecond of arc precision small-field astrometry, has been achieved, but not without significant challenges. These included a mechanically noisy on-orbit environment, the self-calibration of FGS 3, and significant temporal changes in our instrument. Solutions included a denser set of drift check stars for each science observation, fine- tuning exposure times, overlapping field observations and analyses for calibration, and a continuing series of trend- monitoring observations. HST FGS 3 will remain a competitive astrometric tool for faint targets in crowded fields and for faint small-separation binaries until the advent of large- aperture, ground-based and longer-baseline space-based interferometers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317200
Show Author Affiliations
G. Fritz Benedict, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Barbara McArthur, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Edmund P. Nelan, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
William H. Jefferys, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Otto G. Franz, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Larry H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Darrell B. Story, Jackson & Tull (United States)
Peter J. Shelus, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
A. L. Whipple, AlliedSignal Aerospace Systems (United States)
Arthur J. Bradley, AlliedSignal Aerospace Systems (United States)
R. L. Duncombe, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Q. Wang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Paul D. Hemenway, Univ. of Rhode Island (United States)
William F. van Altena, Yale Univ. (United States)
Laurence W. Fredrick, Univ. of Virginia (United States)

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

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