28 July 2008 Results from the VLTI-PRIMA fringe tracking testbed
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Abstract
The Fringe Sensor Unit (FSU) is the central element of the dual-feed facility PRIMA at the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). Two identical FSU fringe detectors deliver real-time estimates of phase delay, group delay and signal-to-noise ratio for the two observed targets. They serve both as the scientific instrument for astrometry with PRIMA and as sensor for the fringe tracking system of the interferometer. Prior to its installation at the VLTI scheduled for mid-2008, the FSU is going through an extensive laboratory test phase. It is therefore embedded in a semi-realistic environment, involving a VLTI-like control system and a laser metrology. This allows us to probe the system response to atmospheric piston jitter, tip-tilt disturbances and higher order aberrations, as they are expected at the observatory. We report on the system test results, outline the optimisation of the calibration procedure and we evaluate the FSU fringe tracking performance under realistic conditions. Finally, we compare the obtained performances to the scientific and technical requirements.
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Johannes Sahlmann, Roberto Abuter, Nicola Di Lieto, Serge Ménardi, Françoise Delplancke, Hendrik Bartko, Frank Eisenhauer, Samuel Lévêque, Oliver Pfuhl, Nicolas Schuhler, Gerard van Belle, Gautam Vasisht, "Results from the VLTI-PRIMA fringe tracking testbed", Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 70131A (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.786612; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.786612
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