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Paper Abstract

The efficiency of the CHARA Array has proven satisfactory for a wide variety of scientific programs enabled by the first-generation beam combination and detector systems. With multi-beam combination and more ambitious scientific goals, improvements in throughput and efficiency will be highly leveraged. Engineering data from several years of nightly operations are used to infer atmospheric characteristics and raw instrumental visibility in both classic optical and single-mode fiber beam combiners. This information is the basis for estimates of potential gains that could be afforded by the implementation of adaptive optics. In addition to the very important partial compensation for higher order atmosphere-induced wavefront errors, the benefits include reduction of static and quasi-static aberrations, reduction of residual tilt error, compensation for differential atmospheric refraction, and reduction of diffractive beam propagation losses, each leading to improved flux throughput and instrumental visibility, and to associated gains in operability and scientific productivity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77340B (1 November 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857685
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen Ridgway, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Theo ten Brummelaar, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Judit Sturmann, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Laszlo Sturmann, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Nils Turner, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Harold McAlister, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
John Monnier, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Michael Ireland, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Peter Tuthill, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Derek Coburn, National Univ. of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
Chris Dainty, National Univ. of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
Nicholas Devaney, National Univ. of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
Alexander Goncharov, National Univ. of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
David Mozurkewich, Seabrook Engineering (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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