Adaptive Optics, LLLFT Interferometry, Astronomy
Final rept. 15 Feb 1998-14 Mar 2002
PUERTO RICO UNIV RIO PIEDRAS
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We propose to build a three telescope Michelson optical interferometer equipped with wavefront compensation technology as a demonstration and test bed for high resolution Deep Space Surveillance DSS and Astronomy. Each telescope will have a liquid crystal LC Adaptive Optics AO phase retarder capable of providing diffraction or near diffraction limited operation. We will combine the wavefronts from the three telescopes using a conventional beam recombination system and acquire and track the fringes formed with a Low Light Level Fringe Tracking system LLLFT. The telescopes, fringe tracker. a photon counting Baker camera, and LC devices and associated wavefront sensors are novel ideas currently under development at the USAFs Phillips Laboratory PL for DSS and theft combination should yield a state-of-the-art system equal or superior in performance to the best of the current generation of AO and Interferometric systems but for a few percent of the cost.