AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 82. Planning for Future Missions: Radio to X-Ray
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[82.09] Steps Toward a Large Space-Based UV/Optical Fizeau Interferometer: The GSFC Fizeau Interferometer Testbed (FIT)

K.G. Carpenter, R.G. Lyon, L.M. Mazzuca (NASA's GSFC), G. Solyar (GEST/UMBC), J. Marzouk (Sigma Space), L.G. Mundy (UMD), J.T. Armstrong, X. Zhang (NRL)

Goddard Space Flight Center is pursuing the development of space-based, long-baseline (>0.5km) UV-optical Fizeau imaging interferometers to enable the next major stride toward very high angular resolution astronomical observations. This effort includes the development and operation of the Fizeau Interferometry Testbed (FIT), in collaboration with the Naval Research Lab/NPOI, Univ. of MD, and Sigma Space Corporation. The FIT will be used to explore the principles of and requirements for the Stellar Imager (SI) mission concept (http://hires.gsfc.nasa.gov/~si) and other such Fizeau Interferometers/Sparse Aperture Telescope missions, leading in the end to the Planet Imager (PI), which is the ultimate goal of the current Origins Program. The primary goal of the FIT program is to demonstrate closed-loop control of mirrors (tip, tilt, piston, translation of array elements) and the overall system to keep the optical beams in phase and enable high quality imaging by a many-element (7-30) Fizeau Interferometric System. The FIT will also be used to assess various wavefront reconstruction and sensing and image reconstruction algorithms for utility and accuracy by application to real data generated by the Testbed. In this paper, we describe the design and goals of the system, provide a status report on its construction, and note our future plans.

The FIT development is supported by NASA-ROSS/SARA grants to GSFC, UMD, and NRL and by internal GSFC R&D funds.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.