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9 June 1994 ASEPS-0 Testbed Interferometer
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The ASEPS-O Testbed Interferometer is a long-baseline infrared interferometer optimized for high-accuracy narrow-angle astrometry. It is being constructed by JPL for NASA as a testbed for the future Keck Interferometer to demonstrate the technology for the astrometric detection of exoplanets from the ground. Recent theoretical and experimental work has shown that extremely high accuracy narrow-angle astrometry, at the level of tens of microarcseconds in an hour of integration time, can be achieved with a long-baseline interferometer measuring closely-spaced pairs of stars. A system with performance close to these limits could conduct a comprehensive search for Jupiter- and Saturn-mass planets around stars of all spectral types, and for short-period Uranus-mass planets around nearby M and K stars. The key features of an instrument which can achieve this accuracy are long baselines to minimize atmospheric and photon-noise errors, a dual-star feed to route the light from two separate stars to two beam combiners, cophased operation using an infrared fringe detector to increase sensitivity in order to locate reference stars near a bright target, and laser metrology to monitor systematic errors. The ASEPS-O Testbed Interferometer will incorporate these features, with a nominal baseline of 100 m, 50- cm siderostats, and 40-cm telescopes at the input to the dual- star feeds. The fringe detectors will operate at 2.2 micrometers , using NICMOS-III arrays in a fast-readout mode controlling high-speed laser-monitored delay lines. Development of the interferometer is in progress, with installation at Palomar Mountain planned to begin in 1994.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Mark Colavita, Michael Shao, Braden E. Hines, J. Kent Wallace, Yekta Gursel, Fabien Malbet, Jeffrey W. Yu, Harjit Singh, Charles A. Beichman, Xiaopei Pan, T. Nakajima, and Shrinivas R. Kulkarni "ASEPS-0 Testbed Interferometer", Proc. SPIE 2200, Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry II, (9 June 1994);


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