Photoactive materials hold great promise for a variety of applications. We present a finite element model of light-controlled flexible magnetic composite structure composed of 33.3% Chromium dioxide (CrO2) and 66.7% Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) by weight. The structure has a dimension of 8 mm × 2 mm × 100 μm and has been previously experimentally studied. Due to the low Curie temperature, the structure acts as an actuator, shows significant deflection under the external magnetic field and relaxation due to laser heating. Thermal and magnetic deflection analysis has been performed using the FEM model. The simulation results show a maximum structural deflection of 6.08 mm (76% of the length of the structure) when subjected to 30 mT magnetic flux density and 160 mW laser power at 303 K (room temperature). We will present the results of the simulation model and comparison to experimental data reproducing the previously observed motion of the (CrO2+PDMS). This model will enable future fracture and fatigue analysis as well as extension to new photoactive geometries.
PHASECam is the fringe tracker for the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI). It is a near-infrared camera that is used to measure both tip/tilt and fringe phase variations between the two adaptive optics-corrected apertures of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Tip/tilt and phase sensing are currently performed in the H (1.65 μm) and K (2.2 μm) bands at 1 kHz, but only the K-band phase telemetry is used to send corrections to the system in order to maintain fringe coherence and visibility. However, due to the cyclic nature of the fringe phase, only the phase, modulo 360 deg, can be measured. PHASECam’s phase unwrapping algorithm, which attempts to mitigate this issue, occasionally fails in cases of fast, large phase variations or low signal-to-noise ratio. This can cause a fringe jump in which case the optical path difference correction will be incorrect by a wavelength. This can currently be manually corrected by the operator. However, as the LBTI commissions further modes that require robust, active phase control and for which fringe jumps are harder to detect, including multiaxial (Fizeau) interferometry and dual-aperture nonredundant aperture masking interferometry, a more reliable and automated solution is desired. We present a multiwavelength method of fringe jump capture and correction that involves direct comparison between the K-band and H-band phase telemetry. We demonstrate the method utilizing archival PHASECam telemetry, showing it provides a robust, reliable way of detecting fringe jumps that can potentially recover a significant fraction of the data lost to them.
The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) has the longest baseline in the world|22.7 m|for performing astronomical interferometry in Fizeau mode, which involves beam combination in a focal plane and preserves a wide field-of-view. LBTI can operate in this mode at wavelengths of 1.5-5 and 8-12 μm, making it a unique platform for carrying out high-resolution imaging of circumstellar disks, and possibly searches for planets, in the thermal infrared. Over the past five years, LBTI has carried out a considerable number of interferometric observations by combining the beams near a pupil plane to carry out nulling interferometry. This mode is useful for measuring small luminosity level offsets, such as those of exozodiacal dust disks. The Fizeau mode, by contrast, is more useful for generating an image of the target because it has more uv plane coverage. However, the Fizeau mode is still in an ongoing process of commissioning. Sensitive Fizeau observations require active phase control, increased automation, and the removal of non-common-path (NCP) differential aberrations. These maximize the fringe contrast, enable longer integrations, and reduce time overheads. We are in the process of writing a correction loop to remove NCP aberrations, and have carried out tests on old and synthetic data. We have also carried out on-sky Fizeau engineering tests in 2018B and 2019A. In this article, we share lessons learned and strategies developed as a result of these tests.
PHASECam is the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer's (LBTI) phase sensor, a near-infrared camera which is used to measure tip/tilt and phase variations between the two AO-corrected apertures of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Tip/tilt and phase sensing are currently performed in the H (1.65 μm) and K (2.2 μm) bands at 1 kHz, and the K band phase telemetry is used to send tip/tilt and Optical Path Difference (OPD) corrections to the system. However, phase variations outside the range [-Π, Π] are not sensed, and thus are not fully corrected during closed-loop operation. PHASECam's phase unwrapping algorithm, which attempts to mitigate this issue, still occasionally fails in the case of fast, large phase variations. This can cause a fringe jump, in which case the unwrapped phase will be incorrect by a wavelength or more. This can currently be manually corrected by the observer, but this is inefficient. A more reliable and automated solution is desired, especially as the LBTI begins to commission further modes which require robust, active phase control, including controlled multi-axial (Fizeau) interferometry and dual-aperture non-redundant aperture masking interferometry. We present a multi-wavelength method of fringe jump capture and correction which involves direct comparison between the K band and currently unused H band phase telemetry.
The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) can perform Fizeau interferometry in the focal plane, which accesses spatial information out to the LBT's full 22.7-m edge-to-edge baseline. This mode has previously been used to obtain science data, but has been limited to observations where the optical path difference (OPD) between the two beams is not controlled, resulting in unstable fringes on the science detectors. To maximize the science return, we are endeavoring to stabilize the OPD and tip-tilt variations and make the LBTI Fizeau mode optimized and routine. Here we outline the optical configuration of LBTI's Fizeau mode and our strategy for commissioning this observing mode.