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Proceedings Paper

Stellar interferometer tracking experiment (SITE): a precursor mission for multiple-aperture interferometry in space
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Paper Abstract

The Stellar Interferometer Tracking Experiment (SITE) is a Space Shuttle flight experiment proposed by the MIT Space Engineering Research Center and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The SITE instrument is a two-aperture stellar interferometer with a baseline of four meters and a detection bandwidth of 200 - 780 nanometers. The objective of SITE is to validate in the space environment the detectors and fringe-tracking control systems necessary for future space-based astrometric and imaging interferometers. The cophasing and coalignmnet requirements of the stellar beams for such instruments demand nanometer pathlength and milli-arcsecond jitter control in order to acquire precise fringe amplitude and phase measurements. SITE will evaluate and quantify the effects of vibration isolation, structural quieting, and active pathlength and beam tilt control technologies on the ability to capture and track the central interference fringe from a star. This paper describes the conceptual optical design of the SITE instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2209, Space Optics 1994: Earth Observation and Astronomy, (13 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.185264
Show Author Affiliations
Samuel L. Crawford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2209:
Space Optics 1994: Earth Observation and Astronomy
Guy Cerutti-Maori; Philippe Roussel, Editor(s)

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