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Influence of the antenna diagram on a stellar interferometer that is suffering from telescope-pointing errors

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Abstract

We report our experimental investigations of the influence of differential telescope-pointing errors on data corruption in an optical stellar interferometer. This effect was investigated theoretically as a function of the telescope antenna diagram, which depends on the aperture diameter. Using a laboratory breadboard consisting of a three-telescope array, we carried out the experiments with various aperture diameters and complex objects. The results matched the simulation and demonstrate that, when there is no error in pointing, a large aperture size induces correctible error but that, with a pointing error, data corruption becomes critical. In both cases, the larger the apertures, the more corrupt the data.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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