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28 July 2008 Status of the LBT interferometer
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The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, a thermal infrared imager and nulling interferometer for the LBT, is currently being integrated and tested at Steward Observatory. The system consists of a general purpose or universal beamcombiner (UBC) and three camera ports, one of which is populated currently by the Nulling and Imaging Camera (NIC). Wavefront sensing is carried out using pyramid-based "W" units developed at Arcetri Observatory. The system is designed for high spatial resolution, high dynamic range imaging in the thermal infrared. A key project for the program is to survey nearby stars for debris disks down to levels which may obscure detection of Earth-like planets. During 2007-2008 the UBC portion of the LBTI was assembled and tested at Steward Observatory. Initial integration of the system with the LBT is currently in progress as the W units and NIC are being completed in parallel.
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