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9 June 1994 GAIA: global astrometric interferometer for astrophysics
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We describe a concept for an interferometric space mission dedicated to global (wide-angle) astrometry. The GAIA satellite contains two small (baseline APEQ 3 m) optical interferometers of the Fizeau type, mechanically set at a large and fixed angle to each other. Each interferometer has a field of view of about one degree. Continuous rotation of the whole satellite provides angular connections between the stars passing through the two fields of view. Positions, absolute parallaxes and annual proper motions can be determined with accuracies on the 20 micro-arcsec level. The observing programme may consist of all objects to a limiting magnitude around V = 15-16, including 50 million stars. The GAIA concept, which has been proposed for a Cornerstone Mission within the European Space Agency's long-term science programme, is based on the same general principles as the very successful ESA Hipparcos mission, but takes advantage of the much higher resolution and efficiency permitted by interferometry and modern detector techniques.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Lennart Lindegren, Michael A.C. Perryman, Ulrich Bastian, Christopher Dainty, E. Hog, F. van Leeuwen, J. Kovalevsky, Antoine Labeyrie, Sacha Loiseau, F. Mignard, Jacco C. Noordam, Rudolf S. le Poole, P. Thejll, and Farrokh Vakili "GAIA: global astrometric interferometer for astrophysics", Proc. SPIE 2200, Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry II, (9 June 1994);


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