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Proceedings Paper

Metrology and pointing for astronomical interferometers
Author(s): James D. Phillips; Kenneth G. Carpenter; Keith C. Gendreau; Margarita Karovska; Philip E. Kaaret; Robert D. Reasenberg
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Paper Abstract

Metrology and pointing will be enabling technologies for a new generation of astronomical missions having large and distributed apertures and delivering unprecedented performance. The UV interferometer Stellar Imager would study stellar dynamos by imaging magnetic activity on the disks of stars in our Galaxy. The X-ray interferometer Black Hole Imager would study strong gravity physics and the formation of jets by imaging the event horizons of supermassive black holes. These missions require pointing to microarcseconds or better, and metrology to nm accuracy of optical elements separated by km, for control of optical path difference. This paper describes a metrology and pointing system that meets these requirements for the Stellar Imager. A reference platform uses interferometers to sense alignment with a guide star. Laser gauges determine mirror positions in the frame of the reference platform, and detector position is monitored by laser gauges or observations of an artificial star. Applications to other astronomical instruments are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552645
Show Author Affiliations
James D. Phillips, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Kenneth G. Carpenter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Keith C. Gendreau, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Margarita Karovska, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Philip E. Kaaret, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Robert D. Reasenberg, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5491:
New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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