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Proceedings Paper

The imaging fringe and flexure tracker of LINC-NIRVANA: basic opto-mechanical design and principle of operation
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Paper Abstract

LINC-NIRVANA is the interferometric near-infrared imaging camera for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Being able to observe at wavelength bands from J to K (suppported by an adaptive optics system operating at visible light) LINC-NIRVANA will provide an unique and unprecedented combination of high angular resolution (~ 9 milliarcseconds at 1.25μm), wide field of view (~ 100 arcseconds2 at 1.25μm), and large collecting area (~ 100m2). One of the major contributions of the 1. Physikalische Institut of the University of Cologne to this project is the development and provision of the Fringe and Flexure Tracking System (FFTS). In addition to the single-eye adaptive optics systems the FFTS is a crucial component to ensure a time-stable wavefront correction over the full aperture of the double-eye telescope, a mandatory pre-requisite for interferometric observations. Using a independent HAWAII 1 detector array at a combined focus close to the science detector, the Fringe and Flexure Tracking System analyses the complex two-dimensional interferometric point spread function (PSF) of a suitably bright reference source at frame rates of up to several hundred Hertz. By fitting a parameterised theoretical model PSF to the preprocessed image-data the FFTS determines the amount of pistonic phase difference and angular misalignment between the wavefronts of the two optical paths of LINC-NIRVANA. For every exposure the corrective parameters are derived in real-time and transmitted to a dedicated piezo-electric fast linear mirror for simple path lengths adjustments, and/or to the adaptive optics systems of the single-eye telescopes for more complicated corrections. In this paper we present the basic concept and currect status of the opto-mechanical design of the Fringe and Flexure Tracker, the operating principle of the fringe and flexure tracking loops, and the encouraging result of a laboratory test of the piston control loop.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 62681I (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670160
Show Author Affiliations
Christian Straubmeier, Univ. of Cologne (Germany)
Thomas Bertram, Univ. of Cologne (Germany)
Andreas Eckart, Univ. of Cologne (Germany)
Steffen Rost, Univ. of Cologne (Germany)
Yeping Wang, Univ. of Cologne (Germany)
Tom Herbst, Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany)
Roberto Ragazzoni, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Gerd Weigelt, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6268:
Advances in Stellar Interferometry
John D. Monnier; Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi, Editor(s)

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