21 February 2003 Commissioning the VLT interferometer: from first fringes toward a general user facility
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Abstract
On March 17, 2001, the VLT interferometer saw for the first time interferometric fringes on sky with its two test siderostats on a 16m baseline. Seven months later, on October 29, 2001, fringes were found with two of the four 8.2m Unit Telescopes (UTs), named Antu and Melipal, spanning a baseline of 102m. First shared risk science operations with VLTI will start in October 2002. The time between these milestones is used for further integration as well as for commissioning of the interferometer with the goal to understand all its characteristics and to optimize performance and observing procedures. In this article we will describe the various commissioning tasks carried out and present some results of our work.
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Markus Schoeller, Philippe B. Gitton, Javier Argomedo, Pascal Ballester, Bertrand Bauvir, Roy Van Boekel, Michael Cantzler, Serge Correia, William D. Cotton, Francoise Delplancke, Frederic Derie, Philippe Duhoux, Toomas Erm, Emmanuel di Folco, Vincent Coude du Foresto, Alberto Gennai, Bruno Gilli, Paul Giordano, Andreas Glindemann, Stephane Guisard, Pablo Gutierrez, Nico Housen, Gerhard Huedepohl, Alexis Huxley, S. Jackisch, Walter Jaffe, Pierre Kervella, Arno van Kesteren, Mario Kiekebusch, Bertrand Koehler, Samuel A. Leveque, Antonio Longinotti, Serge Menardi, Sebastien Morel, Lothar Noethe, Francesco Paresce, Isabelle Percheron, T. Phan Duc, A. Pino, D. Rabeling, A. Ramirez, Sylvie Robbe-Dubois, Andrea Richichi, A. Rijo, Cyrus Sabet, Stefan Sandrock, Damien Segransan, Jason Spyromilio, Roberto Tamai, Massimo Tarenghi, Anders Wallander, Rainer Wilhelm, Markus Wittkowski, "Commissioning the VLT interferometer: from first fringes toward a general user facility", Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459678; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.459678
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