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Proceedings Paper

VINCI, the VLTI commissioning instrument: status after one year of operations at Paranal
Author(s): Pierre Kervella; Philippe B. Gitton; Damien Segransan; Emmanuel di Folco; Pierre Y. Kern; Mario Kiekebusch; Than Phan Duc; Antonio Longinotti; Vincent Coude du Foresto; Pascal Ballester; Cyrus Sabet; William D. Cotton; Markus Schoeller; Rainer Wilhelm
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Paper Abstract

Installed at the heart of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), VINCI combines coherently the infrared light coming from two telescopes. The first fringes were obtained in March 2001 with the VLTI test siderostats, and in October of the same year with the 8 meters Unit Telescopes (UTs). After more than one year of operation, it is now possible to evaluate its behavior and performances with a relatively long timescale. During this period, the technical downtime has been kept to a very low level. The most important parameters of the instrument (interferometric efficiency, mechanical stability,...) have been followed regularly, leading to a good understanding of its performances and characteristics. In addition to a large number of laboratory measurements, more than 3000 on-sky observations have been recorded, giving a precise knowledge of the behavior of the system under various conditions. We report in this paper the main characteristics of the VINCI instrument hardware and software. The differences between observations with the siderostats and the UTs are also briefly discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459345
Show Author Affiliations
Pierre Kervella, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Philippe B. Gitton, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Damien Segransan, Observatoire de Geneve (Switzerland)
Emmanuel di Folco, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Pierre Y. Kern, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
Mario Kiekebusch, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Than Phan Duc, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Antonio Longinotti, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Vincent Coude du Foresto, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon (France)
Pascal Ballester, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Cyrus Sabet, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
William D. Cotton, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Markus Schoeller, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Rainer Wilhelm, European Southern Observatory (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4838:
Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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