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6 February 2013 LINC-NIRVANA for the large binocular telescope: setting up the world’s largest near infrared binoculars for astronomy
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Abstract
LINC-NIRVANA (LN) is the near-infrared, Fizeau-type imaging interferometer for the large binocular telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham, Arizona (elevation of 3267 m). The instrument is currently being built by a consortium of German and Italian institutes under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. It will combine the radiation from both 8.4 m primary mirrors of LBT in such a way that the sensitivity of a 11.9 m telescope and the spatial resolution of a 22.8 m telescope will be obtained within a 10.5×10.5 arcsec 2 scientific field of view. Interferometric fringes of the combined beams are tracked in an oval field with diameters of 1 and 1.5 arcmin. In addition, both incoming beams are individually corrected by LN’s multiconjugate adaptive optics system to reduce atmospheric image distortion over a circular field of up to 6 arcmin in diameter. A comprehensive technical overview of the instrument is presented, comprising the detailed design of LN’s four major systems for interferometric imaging and fringe tracking, both in the near infrared range of 1 to 2.4 μm, as well as atmospheric turbulence correction at two altitudes, both in the visible range of 0.6 to 0.9 μm. The resulting performance capabilities and a short outlook of some of the major science goals will be presented. In addition, the roadmap for the related assembly, integration, and verification process are discussed. To avoid late interface-related risks, strategies for early hardware as well as software interactions with the telescope have been elaborated. The goal is to ship LN to the LBT in 2014.
© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 0091-3286/2013/$25.00 © 2013 SPIE
JOURNAL ARTICLE
15 PAGES


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