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5 July 2000 AMBER: the near-infrared focal instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer
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AMBER is a focal instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer working in the near infrared from 1.1 to 2.4 micrometers . It has been designed having in mind the General User of interferometric observations and the full range of his possible astrophysical programs. However the three programs used to define the key specifications have been the study of Young Stellar Objects, the study of Active Galactic Nuclei dust tori and broad line regions and the measure of masses and spectra of hot Extra Solar Planets. AMBER combines up to three beams produced by the VLTI 8 m Unit Telescopes equipped with Adaptive Optics and/or by the 1.8 m Auxiliary Telescopes. The fringes are dispersed with resolutions ranging from 35 to 10000. It is optimized for high accuracy single mode measurements of the absolute visibility, of the variation of the visibility and phase with wavelength (differential interferometry) and of phase closure relations with three telescopes. The instrument and its software are designed to allow a highly automated user friendly operation and an easy maintenance.
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