1 July 2003 Observational model for microarcsecond astrometry with the Space Interferometry Mission
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Abstract
The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) is a space-based long-baseline optical interferometer for precision astrometry. One of the primary objectives of the SIM instrument is to accurately determine the directions to a grid of stars, together with their proper motions and parallaxes, improving a priori knowledge by nearly three orders of magnitude. The basic astrometric observable of the instrument is the path-length delay, a measurement made by a combination of internal metrology measurements that determine the distance the starlight travels through the two arms of the interferometer and a measurement of the white light stellar fringe to find the point of equal path length. Because this operation requires a nonnegligible integration time to accurately measure the stellar fringe position, the interferometer baseline vector is not stationary over this time period, as its absolute length and orientation are time-varying. This conflicts with the consistency condition necessary for extracting the astrometric parameters, which requires a stationary baseline vector. We address how the time-varying baseline is "regularized" so that it can act as a single baseline vector for multiple stars, and thereby establishing the fundamental operation of the instrument.
Mark H. Milman, Slava G. Turyshev, "Observational model for microarcsecond astrometry with the Space Interferometry Mission," Optical Engineering 42(7), (1 July 2003). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.1576405
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