21 February 2003 Increasing the imaging capabilities of the VLTI using integrated optics
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Several scientific topics linked to the observation of extended structures around astrophysical sources (dust torus around AGN, disks around young stars, envelopes around AGBs) require imaging capability with milli-arcsecond spatial resolution. The current VLTI instruments, AMBER and MIDI, will provide in the coming months the required high angular resolution, yet without actual imaging. As a rule of thumb, the image quality accessible with an optical interferometer is directly related to the number of telescopes used simultaneously: the more the apertures, the better and the faster the reconstruction of the image. We propose an instrument concept to achieve interferometric combination of N telescopes (4 ≤ N ≤ 8) thanks to planar optics technology: 4 x 8-m telescopes in the short term and/or 8 x 1.8-m telescopes in the long term. The foreseen image reconstruction quality in the visible and/or in the near infrared will be equivalent to the one achieved with millimeter radio interferometers. Achievable spatial resolution will be better than the one foreseen with ALMA. This instrument would be able to acquire routinely 1 mas resolution images. A 13 to 20 magnitude sensitivity in spectral ranges from 0.6 to 2.5 μm is expected depending on the choice of the phase referencing guide source. High dynamic range, even on faint objects, is achievable thanks to the high accuracy provided by integrated optics for visibility amplitude and phase measurements. Based on recent validations of integrated optics presented here an imaging instrument concept can be proposed. The results obtained using the VLTI facilities give a demonstration of the potential of the proposed technique.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Pierre Y. Kern, Pierre Y. Kern, Fabien Malbet, Fabien Malbet, Jean-Philippe Berger, Jean-Philippe Berger, Pierre Haguenauer, Pierre Haguenauer, Isabelle Schanen-Duport, Isabelle Schanen-Duport, Pierre Labeye, Pierre Labeye, Karine Perraut-Rousselet, Karine Perraut-Rousselet, Brahim Arezki, Brahim Arezki, Alain Delboulbe, Alain Delboulbe, Laurent Jocou, Laurent Jocou, Christian Perrier-Bellet, Christian Perrier-Bellet, Wesley A. Traub, Wesley A. Traub, Rafael Millan-Gabet, Rafael Millan-Gabet, John D. Monnier, John D. Monnier, Ettore Pedretti, Ettore Pedretti, Andreas Glindemann, Andreas Glindemann, Pierre Kervella, Pierre Kervella, Emmanuel di Folco, Emmanuel di Folco, Philippe B. Gitton, Philippe B. Gitton, "Increasing the imaging capabilities of the VLTI using integrated optics", Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459074; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.459074


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