26 February 2003 High-precision early mission narrow-angle science with the Space Interferometry Mission
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Abstract
We have developed a technique that allows SIM to measure relative stellar positions with an accuracy of 1 micro-arcsecond at any time during its 5-yr mission. Unlike SIM's standard narrow-angle approach, Gridless Narrow Angle Astrometry (GNAA) does not rely on the global reference frame of grid stars that reaches full accuracy after 5 years. GNAA is simply the application of traditional single-telescope narrow angle techniques to SIM's narrow angle optical path delay measurements. In GNAA, a set of reference stars and a target star are observed at several baseline orientations. A linearized model uses delay measurements to solve for star positions and baseline orientations. A conformal transformation maps observations at different epochs to a common reference frame. The technique works on short period signals (P=days to months), allowing it to be applied to many of the known extra-solar planets, intriguing radio/X- ray binaries, and other periodic sources. The technique's accuracy is limited in the long-term by false acceleration due to a combination of reference star and target star proper motion. The science capability, 1 micro-arcsecond astrometric precision, is unique to SIM.
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Stuart B. Shaklan, Mark H. Milman, Xiaopei Pan, "High-precision early mission narrow-angle science with the Space Interferometry Mission", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460738; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460738
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