Reference : Influence of OPD control on a ground-based nulling interferometer
Scientific conferences in universities or research centers : Scientific conference in universities or research centers
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Space science, astronomy & astrophysics
Influence of OPD control on a ground-based nulling interferometer
Absil, Olivier mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Astroph. extragalactique et observations spatiales (AEOS) >]
Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2002: Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II
22/08/2002 - 28/08/2002
Hawaii, USA
[en] Atmospheric turbulence is a major source of noise in any fiber-linked interferometer through the
piston effect which induces an erratic movement of the fringes. Because the stellar light has to
be constantly cancelled by the central dark fringe, a ground-based nulling interferometer is not
possible without stringent OPD control. In this paper, we investigate the influence of the residual OPD error of a fringe tracking unit on the performances of a nulling interferometer. This influence strongly depends on the aperture configuration of the interferometer. Even with the most robust configurations, the detection of exo-zodiacal clouds similar to ours around nearby main sequence stars is not possible if the residual OPD error exceeds 15 nanometers rms. This specification can only be reached if the fringe tracker is optimized for bright sources.

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