EAS Publications Series
Volume 78-79, 2016Mathematical Tools for Instrumentation & Signal Processing in Astronomy
|Page(s)||45 - 70|
|Section||Astronomy in the Coming Decade and Beyond|
|Published online||02 September 2016|
D. Mary, R. Flamary, C. Theys and C. Aime (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 78–79 (2016) 45-70
Hypertelescopes: potential science gains, current testing and prospects in space
Collège de France and Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, 06460 Caussols, France
In the way of giant dilute telescopes, the hypertelescope is a many-aperture interferometer, which provides direct high resolution images with efficient light concentration. Pending future versions in space, a prototype terrestrial hypertelescope is under test in a high valley of the southern Alps. A moving focal gondola, suspended 101 m above small static mirrors, is driven under computer control with millimeter accuracy. The coude focus at ground level has been qualified by observing a Vega image focused by one of the mirrors and transmitted through the gondola. Upgrades under way for multi-beam interference include full autoguiding, the installation of several cameras on the gondola and adaptive optics for cophasing. Science observing is expected to begin in a few years, and other potential sites are considered for a larger meta-aperture, in the kilometer range. Future space versions, utilizing a 10–1000 km flotilla of small mirrors, are also considered and proposed to NASA and ESA, but require different technical developments.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2016
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