Proceedings PaperComparison of space- and ground-based optical interferometry
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At visible frequencies the comparative sensitivity achieved from space-borne or terrestrial interferometers depends on source brightness, source complexity and on the waveband considered. At short wavelengths a space-borne instrument is always superior and at longer `visible' wavelengths (up to K-Band) a space-borne instrument is superior for faint and/or complex targets. At thermal infrared wavelengths the sensitivity comparison depends on source brightness but not its complexity. A space-borne interferometer gives superior sensitivity at M-Band and between atmospheric transmission windows. To obtain adequate sensitivity at N-Band and longer wavelengths a space-borne interferometer cooled below 80 degree(s)K is required.