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Proceedings Paper

Active Systems In Long Baseline Interferometers
Author(s): M. Shao
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Paper Abstract

Long baseline stellar interferometers are very large optical systems that have extremely tight mechanical tolerances. In the Mark III interferometer, there were two major active systems that maintained the alignment and optical path control needed to make astronomical measurements. One system, called the star tracker system, kept the two interfering wavefronts parallel. The other system, the fringe tracker/delay line kept the optical paths equal in the two arms of the interferometer. This paper reviews the operation of the Mark III active systems and introduces systems that will be built into the next generation six element imaging array being designed. The key difference between the two systems is that with a two element interferometer, light from the star must be split for use in the star tracker and fringe tracker while in interferometers with more than two elements, it is possible to use the same photons to run both the star tracker and fringe tracker.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 1989
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 1114, Active Telescope Systems, (20 September 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.960827
Show Author Affiliations
M. Shao, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1114:
Active Telescope Systems
Francois J. Roddier, Editor(s)

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