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Proceedings Paper

SMART precision interferometry at 794 nm
Author(s): John D. Monnier; Jean-Philippe Berger; Rafael Millan-Gabet; Wesley A. Traub; Nathaniel P. Carleton; Ettore Pedretti; Charles M. Coldwell; Costas D. Papaliolios
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Paper Abstract

Single-mode fibers have been used in the near-infrared to dramatically reduce calibration error for long-baseline interferometry. We have begun an effort to apply the advantages of spatial filtering at visible wavelengths for precision measurements of pulsating Cepheids using the IOTA interferometer. Rather than employing photometric taps to calibrate fluctuating coupling efficiency, we are using an "asymmetric" coupler which allows this calibration to be done without losing photons. The Single-Mode Asymmetric Recombination Technique (SMART) experiment has finished lab-testing, and has been installed at IOTA for full commissioning in Summer 2002. We report the results of lab characterization and first sky tests, as well as first fringes on a star using a visible-wavelength single-mode coupler. With both lab and sky experience using unpolarized light, we have found that circular silica fibers are quite practical for precision interferometric measurements. We conclude that circular fibers (as opposed to polarization maintaining fibers) have an undeserved poor reputation and that birefringence effects pose no significant difficulty.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459696
Show Author Affiliations
John D. Monnier, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Jean-Philippe Berger, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
Rafael Millan-Gabet, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
California Institute of Technology (United States)
Wesley A. Traub, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Nathaniel P. Carleton, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Ettore Pedretti, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Charles M. Coldwell, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Costas D. Papaliolios, Harvard Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4838:
Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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