Classically, optical and near-infrared interferometry have relied on closure phase techniques to produce images.
Such techniques allow us to achieve modest dynamic ranges.
In order to test the feasibility of next generation optical interferometers in the context of the VLTI-spectro-imager
(VSI), we have embarked on a study of image reconstruction and analysis. Our main aim was to test the
influence of the number of telescopes, observing nights and distribution of the visibility points on the quality of
the reconstructed images. Our results show that observations using six Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) during one
complete night yield the best results in general and is critical in most science cases; the number of telescopes is
the determining factor in the image reconstruction outcome.
In terms of imaging capabilities, an optical, six telescope VLTI-type configuration and ~200 meter baseline
will achieve 4 mas spatial resolution, which is comparable to ALMA and almost 50 times better than JWST will
achieve at 2.2 microns. Our results show that such an instrument will be capable of imaging, with unprecedented
detail, a plethora of sources, ranging from complex stellar surfaces to microlensing events.