Status of commissioning stabilized infrared Fizeau interferometry with LBTI
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
Univ Arizona, Ctr Astron Adapt Opt
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PublisherSPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING
CitationEckhart Spalding, Phil Hinz, Katie Morzinksi, Steve Ertel, Paul Grenz, Erin Maier, Jordan Stone, and Amali Vaz "Status of commissioning stabilized infrared Fizeau interferometry with LBTI", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171S (9 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2529808
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AbstractThe Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) has the longest baseline in the world-22.7 m-for performing astronomical interferometry in Fizeau mode, which involves beam combination in a focal plane and preserves a wide field-of-view. LBTI can operate in this mode at wavelengths of 1.2-5 and 8-12 mu m, making it a unique platform for carrying out high-resolution imaging of circumstellar disks, evolved stars, solar system objects, and possibly searches for planets, in the thermal infrared. Over the past five years, LBTI has carried out a considerable number of interferometric observations by combining the beams near a pupil plane to carry out nulling interferometry. This mode is useful for measuring small luminosity level offsets, such as those of exozodiacal dust disks. The Fizeau mode, by contrast, is more useful for generating an image of the target because it has more (u, v) (Fourier) plane coverage. However, the Fizeau mode is still in an ongoing process of commissioning. Sensitive Fizeau observations require active phase control, increased automation, and the removal of non-common-path aberrations (NCPA) between the science and phase beams. This increased level of control will increase the fringe contrast, enable longer integrations, and reduce time overheads. We are in the process of writing a correction loop to remove NCPA, and have carried out tests on old and synthetic data. We have also carried out on-sky Fizeau engineering tests in fall 2018 and spring 2019. In this article, we share lessons learned and strategies developed as a result of these tests.
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