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Proceedings Paper

VSI: the VLTI spectro-imager
Author(s): F. Malbet; D. Buscher; G. Weigelt; P. Garcia; M. Gai; D. Lorenzetti; J. Surdej; J. Hron; R. Neuhäuser; P. Kern; L. Jocou; J.-P. Berger; O. Absil; U. Beckmann; L. Corcione; G. Duvert; M. Filho; P. Labeye; E. Le Coarer; G. Li Causi; J. Lima; K. Perraut; E. Tatulli; E. Thiébaut; J. Young; G. Zins; A. Amorim; B. Aringer; T. Beckert; M. Benisty; X. Bonfils; A. Cabral; A. Chelli; O. Chesneau; A. Chiavassa; R. Corradi; M. De Becker; A. Delboulbé; G. Duchêne; T. Forveille; C. Haniff; E. Herwats; K.-H. Hofmann; J.-B. Le Bouquin; S. Ligori; D. Loreggia; A. Marconi; A. Moitinho; B. Nisini; P.-O. Petrucci; J. Rebordao; R. Speziali; L. Testi; F. Vitali
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Paper Abstract

The VLTI Spectro Imager (VSI) was proposed as a second-generation instrument of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer providing the ESO community with spectrally-resolved, near-infrared images at angular resolutions down to 1.1 milliarcsecond and spectral resolutions up to R = 12000. Targets as faint as K = 13 will be imaged without requiring a brighter nearby reference object; fainter targets can be accessed if a suitable reference is available. The unique combination of high-dynamic-range imaging at high angular resolution and high spectral resolution enables a scientific program which serves a broad user community and at the same time provides the opportunity for breakthroughs in many areas of astrophysics. The high level specifications of the instrument are derived from a detailed science case based on the capability to obtain, for the first time, milliarcsecond-resolution images of a wide range of targets including: probing the initial conditions for planet formation in the AU-scale environments of young stars; imaging convective cells and other phenomena on the surfaces of stars; mapping the chemical and physical environments of evolved stars, stellar remnants, and stellar winds; and disentangling the central regions of active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes. VSI will provide these new capabilities using technologies which have been extensively tested in the past and VSI requires little in terms of new infrastructure on the VLTI. At the same time, VSI will be able to make maximum use of new infrastructure as it becomes available; for example, by combining 4, 6 and eventually 8 telescopes, enabling rapid imaging through the measurement of up to 28 visibilities in every wavelength channel within a few minutes. The current studies are focused on a 4-telescope version with an upgrade to a 6-telescope one. The instrument contains its own fringe tracker and tip-tilt control in order to reduce the constraints on the VLTI infrastructure and maximize the scientific return.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 701329 (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789710
Show Author Affiliations
F. Malbet, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
D. Buscher, Cavendish Lab., Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
G. Weigelt, Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (Germany)
P. Garcia, Univ. do Porto (Portugal)
M. Gai, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino (Italy)
D. Lorenzetti, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
J. Surdej, Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics (Belgium)
J. Hron, Univ. Wien (Austria)
R. Neuhäuser, Astrophysical Institute and Univ. Observatory (Germany)
P. Kern, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
L. Jocou, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
J.-P. Berger, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
O. Absil, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
U. Beckmann, Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (Germany)
L. Corcione, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino (Italy)
G. Duvert, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
Jean-Marie Mariotti Ctr., CNRS (France)
M. Filho, Univ. do Porto (Portugal)
P. Labeye, CEA-LETI (France)
E. Le Coarer, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
G. Li Causi, INAF-Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (Italy)
J. Lima, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)
K. Perraut, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
E. Tatulli, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
INAF/Osservatorio di Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Jean-Marie Mariotti Ctr., CNRS (France)
E. Thiébaut, Ctr. de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (France)
J. Young, Cavendish Lab., Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
G. Zins, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
A. Amorim, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)
B. Aringer, Institute of Astrophysics, Univ. of Wien (Austria)
T. Beckert, Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (Germany)
M. Benisty, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
X. Bonfils, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)
A. Cabral, Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovacco (Portugal)
A. Chelli, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
Jean-Marie Mariotti Ctr., CNRS (France)
O. Chesneau, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
A. Chiavassa, Univ. de Montpellier II (France)
R. Corradi, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain)
M. De Becker, Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics (Belgium)
A. Delboulbé, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
G. Duchêne, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
T. Forveille, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
C. Haniff, Cavendish Lab., Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
E. Herwats, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics (Belgium)
K.-H. Hofmann, Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (Germany)
J.-B. Le Bouquin, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
S. Ligori, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino (Italy)
D. Loreggia, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
A. Marconi, INAF/Osservatorio di Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
A. Moitinho, Univ. de Lisboa (Portugal)
B. Nisini, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
P.-O. Petrucci, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Univ. J. Fourier, CNRS (France)
J. Rebordao, Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovacco (Portugal)
R. Speziali, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
L. Testi, INAF/Osservatorio di Astrofisica di Arcetri (Italy)
European Southern Observatory Headquarters (Germany)
F. Vitali, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7013:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry
Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke, Editor(s)

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