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  P-REx: The Piston Reconstruction Experiment for infrared interferometry

Widmann, F., Pott, J.-U., & Velasco, S. (2018). P-REx: The Piston Reconstruction Experiment for infrared interferometry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 475, 1224-1237.

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Widmann, Felix1, Author
Pott, Jörg-Uwe1, Author
Velasco, Sergio1, Author
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1Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Society and Cooperation Partners, ou_2421692              

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Free keywords: instrumentation: adaptive optics instrumentation: interferometers infrared: general Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
 Abstract: For sensitive infrared interferometry, it is crucial to control the differential piston evolution between the used telescopes. This is classically done by the use of a fringe tracker. In this work, we develop a new method to reconstruct the temporal piston variation from the atmosphere, by using real-time data from adaptive optics (AO) wavefront sensing: the Piston Reconstruction Experiment (P-REx). In order to understand the principle performance of the system in a realistic multilayer atmosphere, it is first extensively tested in simulations. The gained insights are then used to apply P-REx to real data, in order to demonstrate the benefit of using P-REx as an auxiliary system in a real interferometer. All tests show positive results, which encourages further research and eventually a real implementation. Especially, the tests on on-sky data showed that the atmosphere is, under decent observing conditions, sufficiently well structured and stable, in order to apply P-REx. It was possible to conveniently reconstruct the piston evolution in two-thirds of the data sets from good observing conditions (r0 ̃ 30 cm). The main conclusion is that applying the piston reconstruction in a real system would reduce the piston variation from around 10 μm down to 1-2 μm over time-scales of up to two seconds. This suggests an application for mid-infrared interferometry, for example for MATISSE at the very large telescope interferometer or the large binocular telescope interferometer. P-REx therefore provides the possibility to improve interferometric measurements without the need for more complex AO systems than already in regular use at 8-m-class telescopes.

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 Dates: 2018
 Publication Status: Issued
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Title: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 475 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1224 - 1237 Identifier: -