26 February 2003 StarLight interferometer architecture and operational concepts
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Abstract
The StarLight flight project was designed to demonstrate the key technologies of spaceborne long-baseline stellar interferometry and precision formation flying for potential use on the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and other future astrophysics missions. Interferometer performance validation could be achieved over a 6-12 month period by obtaining several hundred fringe visibility amplitude measurements for stars in the band 600-1000 nm for a variety of stellar visibilities, magnitudes, and baselines. Interferometery could be performed both in a 1 meter fixed-baseline combiner-only mode and in a two-spacecraft formation mode. In formation mode, the combiner spacecraft would remain at the focus of a virtual parabola, while the collector spacecraft assumed various positions along the parabola such that the two arms of the interferometer remained equal over a variety of separations and bearing angles. Challenges to be encountered in flight include high-bandwidth inter-spacecraft stellar and metrology pointing control, alingment and shear correction, delay and delay-rate estimation, visibility calibration, and robust fringe trackign in the presence of local and inter-spacecraft dynamics. This paper is based on the StarLight project design-capture of March 2002 and will describe the StarLight Interferometer System architecture and selected operational concepts.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Riley M. Duren, Riley M. Duren, Oliver P. Lay, Oliver P. Lay, Matthew Wette, Matthew Wette, } "StarLight interferometer architecture and operational concepts", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460933; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460933
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