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Proceedings Paper

Beam Combination In Aperture Synthesis From Space: Field Of View Limitations And (U,V) Plane Coverage Optimization
Author(s): Michel Faucherre; Fritz Merkle; Farrokh Vakili
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Paper Abstract

The limitations of the coherent field of view in Optical Space Interferometry are presented. The size of the field required is inferred from the number of photoevents and from stellar density. Then we examine the limitations of the FOV in both "Michelson" -or planar array-and "Fizeau" -the equivalent of a masked giant telescope- cases in order to assess their maximum size; it is shown that in all cases, the field is too small to include a reference star in the "Michelson" final image field (< a few arcsec) when the input pupil is too diluted; conversely this is not the case for the "Fizeau", but alignment tolerances are extremely severe. The two main limitations in the Michelson type, field curvature effect and pupil geometry conservation, are then derived in terms of tolerances on the optics. The problem of spatial frequency plane coverage is addressed and we finally propose a mission concept that accomodates most of the problems raised in this paper and nevertheless makes use of two off-axis stars for tracking purposes by splitting the fields before recombination: a "Michelson" with flat collectors, making use of fiber optics in the reference channels.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 1989
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1130, New Technologies for Astronomy, (26 September 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.961516
Show Author Affiliations
Michel Faucherre, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (France)
Fritz Merkle, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Farrokh Vakili, OCA-Calern (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1130:
New Technologies for Astronomy

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