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Proceedings Paper

Stellar intensity interferometry: optimizing air Cherenkov telescope array layouts
Author(s): Hannes Jensen; Dainis Dravins; Stephan LeBohec; Paul D. Nuñez
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Paper Abstract

Kilometric-scale optical imagers seem feasible to realize by intensity interferometry, using telescopes primarily erected for measuring Cherenkov light induced by gamma rays. Planned arrays envision 50-100 telescopes, distributed over some 1-4 km2. Although array layouts and telescope sizes will primarily be chosen for gamma-ray observations, also their interferometric performance may be optimized. Observations of stellar objects were numerically simulated for different array geometries, yielding signal-to-noise ratios for different Fourier components of the source images in the interferometric (u, v)-plane. Simulations were made for layouts actually proposed for future Cherenkov telescope arrays, and for subsets with only a fraction of the telescopes. All large arrays provide dense sampling of the (u, v)-plane due to the sheer number of telescopes, irrespective of their geographic orientation or stellar coordinates. However, for improved coverage of the (u, v)-plane and a wider variety of baselines (enabling better image reconstruction), an exact east-west grid should be avoided for the numerous smaller telescopes, and repetitive geometric patterns avoided for the few large ones. Sparse arrays become severely limited by a lack of short baselines, and to cover astrophysically relevant dimensions between 0.1-3 milliarcseconds in visible wavelengths, baselines between pairs of telescopes should cover the whole interval 30-2000 m.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77341T (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856412
Show Author Affiliations
Hannes Jensen, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Dainis Dravins, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Stephan LeBohec, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Paul D. Nuñez, The Univ. of Utah (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7734:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry II
William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke; Jayadev K. Rajagopal, Editor(s)

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