The NASA Outrigger Telescope Project is a ground-based component of NASA's Navigator Program. The proposed project would utilize four to six 1.8-meter telescopes with co-rotating domes configured as an interferometer. One of the project’s scientific goals is the detection of exoplanets, which would be accomplished with long baseline narrow-angle astrometry. This astrometry mode would be able to detect Uranus mass planets up to 60 light years away. The requirements of narrow-angle astrometry, both technically and operationally, levy requirements on the telescopes and enclosures, including, for example, wavefront quality, pivot stability, and slew speed. This paper will describe these requirements and how they were achieved in the design. It will also discuss the testing and verification of these requirements. Actual telescope performance as tested at EOS Technologies is presented elsewhere in these proceedings.
EOS Technologies has completed four 1.8m telescopes that are to be used in the NASA/JPL Interferometer. The 1.8m telescopes (Outriggers) will form the workhorse of the interferometric system. This paper presents some of the performance data obtained during the Telescope Factory Acceptance Tests showing some of the best telescope performance ever achieved with a telescope of this class.
JPL and CARA are building a multi-element, IR interferometer for NASA to be situated at the twin Keck Observatories on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Initially, the 10-m diameter Keck telescopes will be augmented with four fixed-location 2-m class outrigger telescopes resulting in 15 non-redundant baselines, the longest being approximately equals 110 m or nearly 5 X 107 ((lambda) /2.2micrometers )-1 wavelengths. Fast adaptive optics and tip-tilt corrections will be used to phase up the Keck and outrigger apertures, respectively. The entire array will be co-phased by observing a relatively bright target on the photon rich Keck-Keck (K-K) and Keck- outrigger (K-O) baselines. When fully phased, the projected fringe phaser sensitivity for unresolved targets will be K- 22.0, 20.0 and 17.9 on the K-K, K-O and O-O baselines, respectively. Synthetic imaging capability will be available in the 1.6-10.0 micrometers atmospheric transmission bands at angular resolutions of 4.0 milli-arcseconds. In this article, we briefly outline the adopted methodology, imaging hardware, projected sensitivities and summarize the scientific potential of the instrument as an imaging interferometer.
The Keck Interferometer is being developed by JPL and CARA as one of the ground-based components of NASA's Origins Program. The interferometer will combine the two 10-m Keck telescopes with four proposed 1.8-m outrigger telescopes located at the periphery of the Keck site on Mauna Kea. Incorporation of adaptive optics on the Keck telescopes with cophasing using an isoplanatic reference provides high sensitivity. Back-end instrumentation will include two-way combiners for cophasing and single-baseline measurements, a nulling combiner for high-dynamic range measurements, and a multi-way imaging combiner. Science objectives include the characterization of zodiacal dust around other stars, detection of hot Jupiters and brown dwarfs through multi- color differential-phase measurements, astrometric searches for planets down to Uranus-mass, and a wide range of IR imaging.