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Proceedings Paper

Stellar intensity interferometry: imaging capabilities of air Cherenkov telescope arrays
Author(s): Paul D. Nuñez; Stephan LeBohec; David Kieda; Richard Holmes; Hannes Jensen; Dainis Dravins
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Paper Abstract

Sub milli-arcsecond imaging in the visible band will provide a new perspective in stellar astrophysics. Even though stellar intensity interferometry was abandoned more than 40 years ago, it is capable of imaging and thus accomplishing more than the measurement of stellar diameters as was previously thought. Various phase retrieval techniques can be used to reconstruct actual images provided a sufficient coverage of the interferometric plane is available. Planned large arrays of Air Cherenkov telescopes will provide thousands of simultaneously available baselines ranging from a few tens of meters to over a kilometer, thus making imaging possible with unprecedented angular resolution. Here we investigate the imaging capabilities of arrays such as CTA or AGIS used as Stellar Intensity Interferometry receivers. The study makes use of simulated data as could realistically be obtained from these arrays. A Cauchy-Riemann based phase recovery allows the reconstruction of images which can be compared to the pristine image for which the data were simulated. This is first done for uniform disk stars with different radii and corresponding to various exposure times, and we find that the uncertainty in reconstructing radii is a few percent after a few hours of exposure time. Finally, more complex images are considered, showing that imaging at the sub-milli-arc-second scale is possible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77341C (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856496
Show Author Affiliations
Paul D. Nuñez, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Stephan LeBohec, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
David Kieda, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Richard Holmes, Boeing LTS, Inc. (United States)
Hannes Jensen, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Dainis Dravins, Lund Observatory (Sweden)

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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