4 August 2016 The path to interferometry in space
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Abstract
For over two decades, astronomers have considered the possibilities for interferometry in space. The first of these missions was the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), but that was followed by missions for studying exoplanets (e.g Terrestrial Planet Finder, Darwin), and then far-infrared interferometers (e.g. the Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope, the Far-Infrared Interferometer). Unfortunately, following the cancellation of SIM, the future for space-based interferometry has been in doubt, and the interferometric community needs to reevaluate the path forward. While interferometers have strong potential for scientific discovery, there are technological developments still needed, and continued maturation of techniques is important for advocacy to the broader astronomical community. We review the status of several concepts for space-based interferometry, and look for possible synergies between missions oriented towards different science goals.
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S. A. Rinehart, G. Savini, W. Holland, O. Absil, D. Defrère, L. Spencer, D. Leisawitz, M. Rizzo, R. Juanola-Paramon, D. Mozurkewich, "The path to interferometry in space", Proc. SPIE 9907, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V, 99070S (4 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231754; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231754
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