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24 July 1998 Working with a space-based optical interferometer: HST Fine Guidance Sensor 3 small-field astrometry
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Space-based interferometry already exists. We describe our experiences with on-orbit calibration and scientific observations with Fine Guidance Sensor 3 (FGS 3), a white- light interferometer aboard Hubble Space Telescope. Our goal, 1 millisecond of arc precision small-field astrometry, has been achieved, but not without significant challenges. These included a mechanically noisy on-orbit environment, the self-calibration of FGS 3, and significant temporal changes in our instrument. Solutions included a denser set of drift check stars for each science observation, fine- tuning exposure times, overlapping field observations and analyses for calibration, and a continuing series of trend- monitoring observations. HST FGS 3 will remain a competitive astrometric tool for faint targets in crowded fields and for faint small-separation binaries until the advent of large- aperture, ground-based and longer-baseline space-based interferometers.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
G. Fritz Benedict, Barbara McArthur, Edmund P. Nelan, William H. Jefferys, Otto G. Franz, Larry H. Wasserman, Darrell B. Story, Peter J. Shelus, A. L. Whipple, Arthur J. Bradley, R. L. Duncombe, Q. Wang, Paul D. Hemenway, William F. van Altena, and Laurence W. Fredrick "Working with a space-based optical interferometer: HST Fine Guidance Sensor 3 small-field astrometry", Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998);


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