17 February 2016 Structural influences on intensity interferometry
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Intensity interferometry (II) is an alternate form of creating images of distant objects. It is significantly less sensitive to atmospheric distortions and aberrations of telescope surfaces than conventional amplitude-based imaging. The deficiencies of II can be overcome as photodetectors’ read-out rates are becoming faster and computers more powerful. In recognition of the possibility of very large space-based imaging systems, this paper investigates how the deformation of a large, thin optical surface would influence the accuracy of II. Based on the theoretical foundation of II, an optical ray-tracing algorithm was used to examine how the statistics of a photon stream changes from the source to the detector. Ray-tracing and finite element analyses of the structure were thereafter integrated to quantify how the correlation of the intensity field changes as the reflective structure deforms. Varying the positions of the detector from the focal plane and the surface profile of the mirror provided an understanding and quantification of how the various scenarios affect the statistics of the detected light and the correlation measurement. This research and analysis provide the means to quantify how structural perturbations of focal mirrors affect the statistics of photon stream detections inherent in II instrumentation.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Arup Maji, Arup Maji, Mark Harris, Mark Harris, } "Structural influences on intensity interferometry," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 2(1), 014003 (17 February 2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.014003 . Submission:


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