28 July 2014 Stable Imaging for Astronomy (SIA)
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One of the most challenging fields of astronomical instrumentation is probably high-contrast imaging since it ultimately combines ultra-high sensitivity at low flux and the ability to cope with photon flux contrasts of several hundreds of millions or even more. These two aspects implicitly require that high-contrast instruments should be highly stable in the sense of the reproducibility of their measurements at different times, but also, continuously stable over time. In most high contrast instruments or experiments, their sensitivity is broken after at most tens of minutes of operation due to uncontrolled and unknown behaviour of the whole experiment regarding the environmental conditions. In this paper, we introduce a general approach of an exhaustive stability study for high-contrast imaging that has been initiated at Lagrange Laboratory, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA). On a practical ground, one of the fundamental issues of this study is the metrology, which is the basis of all reproducible measurements. We describe a small experiment designed to understand the behaviour of one of our ultra-precise metrology tools (a commercial sub-nanometric 3-way interferometer) and derive the conditions under which its operation delivers reliable results. The approach will apply to the high-contrast imaging test-bench SPEED, under development at OCA.
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Mathilde Beaulieu, Mathilde Beaulieu, Sebastien Ottogalli, Sebastien Ottogalli, Olivier Preis, Olivier Preis, Yves Bresson, Yves Bresson, Jean-Pierre Rivet, Jean-Pierre Rivet, Lyu Abe, Lyu Abe, Farrokh Vakili, Farrokh Vakili, "Stable Imaging for Astronomy (SIA)", Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 91477W (28 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057529; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057529

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