Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 541A, 55-55 (2012/5-1)
FIRST, a fibered aperture masking instrument. I. First on-sky test results.
HUBY E., PERRIN G., MARCHIS F., LACOUR S., KOTANI T., DUCHENE G., CHOQUET E., GATES E.L., WOILLEZ J.M., LAI O., FEDOU P., COLLIN C., CHAPRON F., ARSLANYAN V. and BURNS K.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
In this paper we present the first on-sky results with the fibered aperture masking instrument FIRST. Its principle relies on the combination of spatial filtering and aperture masking using single-mode fibers, a novel technique that is aimed at high dynamic range imaging with high angular resolution. The prototype has been tested with the Shane 3-m telescope at Lick Observatory. The entrance pupil is divided into sub-pupils feeding single-mode fibers. The flux injection into the fibers is optimized by a segmented mirror. The beams are spectrally dispersed and recombined in a non-redundant exit configuration in order to retrieve all contrasts and phases independently. The instrument works at visible wavelengths between 600 nm and 760 nm and currently uses nine of the 30 43 cm sub-apertures constituting the full pupil. First fringes were obtained on Vega
and Deneb. Stable closure phases were measured with standard deviations on the order of 1 degree. Closure phase precision can be further improved by addressing some of the remaining sources of systematic errors. While the number of fibers used in the experiment was too small to reliably estimate visibility amplitudes, we have measured closure amplitudes with a precision of 10% in the best case. These first promising results obtained under real observing conditions validate the concept of the fibered aperture masking instrument and open the way for a new type of ground-based instrument working in the visible. The next steps of the development will be to improve the stability and the sensitivity of the instrument in order to achieve more accurate closure phase and visibility measurements, and to increase the number of sub-pupils to reach full pupil coverage.
instrumentation: high angular resolution - techniques: interferometric - planetary systems - stars: individual: Vega
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