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30 September 2011 The hypertelescope at work with a BIGRE integral field unit
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Dense Aperture Masking (DAM) is a high-contrast imaging technique which enhances the capabilities of the current direct imaging instrumentation, mainly to detect low bright companions at small separation from their parent star. DAM benefits from the experience achieved with the integral field unit installed on SPHERE spectrograph at the VLT (BIGRE, Antichi et al. 2009) with a very similar optical design. More in detail, it is obtained by exploiting the BIGRE integral field unit - composed of two consecutive micro-lens arrays - to subdivide the telescope pupil in many sub-pupils, preserving their relative position and providing the same amount of spatial filtering to each one. We present here results of a system study we pursued for a proficient implementation of BIGRE-DAM. We focus on the case of an 8 m class telescope coupled with the instrument NACO at the VLT. We detail on how the optical design and the related mechanical implementation of a DAM unit could be successfully achieved within NACO thanks to a wise optimization of the BIGRE micro-lenses array, adopted as sub-pupils re-imager instead of integral field unit. Diffraction limit is achieved by optical design and good apochromatic performances are proven for a narrow-band filter around 2.18 micron.
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Jacopo Antichi, Patrick Rabou, Fabien Patru, Enrico Giro, Julien Girard, and Denis Mourard "The hypertelescope at work with a BIGRE integral field unit", Proc. SPIE 8172, Optical Complex Systems: OCS11, 81720X (30 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896926;

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