20 October 2004 Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer: the universal beam combiner
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The Large Binocular Telescope with its single mount design and adaptive optics integrated into the secondary mirrors, provides a unique platform for mid-infrared interferometry. The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer is designed to take advantage of this platform, specifically for extrasolar planet detection in preparation for the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. The instrument consists of three components: a general purpose or Universal Beam Combiner (UBC) which preserves the sine condition of the array, a nulling interferometer for the LBT (NIL) to overlap the two beams and sense phase variations, and a nulling-optimized mid-infrared camera (NOMIC) for detection of the final images. Here we focus on the design and tolerancing of the UBC. The components of the system are currently being fabricated and the instrument is planned to be integrated with the LBT in 2006.
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Philip M. Hinz, Philip M. Hinz, Tom Connors, Tom Connors, Tom McMahon, Tom McMahon, Andrew Cheng, Andrew Cheng, Chien Y. Peng, Chien Y. Peng, William Hoffmann, William Hoffmann, Donald McCarthy, Donald McCarthy, Roger Angel, Roger Angel, } "Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer: the universal beam combiner", Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552337; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.552337

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