AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 8 UV/Optical Universe at Ultra-High Angular Resolution
Topical Realted Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[8.10] The Stellar Imager (SI) ``Vision Mission"

K. Carpenter, W. Danchi, J. Leitner, A. Liu, R. Lyon, L. Mazzuca, R. Moe (NASA-GSFC), D. Chenette, C. Schrijver (LMATC), S. Kilston (BATC), M. Karovska (SAO), R. Allen (STScI), A. Brown (UCO), J. Marzouk (Sigma Sp.), N. Murphy (JPL), F. Walter (SUNY)

The Stellar Imager (SI) is a `Vision' mission in the Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) Roadmap, conceived for the purpose of understanding the effects of stellar magnetic fields, the dynamos that generate them, and the internal structure and dynamics of the stars in which they exist. The ultimate goal is to achieve the best possible forecasting of solar/stellar magnetic activity and its impact on life in the Universe. The science goals of SI require an ultra-high angular resolution, at ultraviolet wavelengths, on the order of 100 micro-arcsec and thus baselines on the order of 0.5 km. These requirements call for a large, multi-spacecraft (>20) imaging interferometer, utilizing precision formation flying in a stable environment, such as in a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 point. SI's resolution will make it an invaluable resource for many other areas of astrophysics, including studies of AGNís, supernovae, cataclysmic variables, young stellar objects, QSO's, and stellar black holes.

We present here an overview of the ongoing mission concept and technology development studies for SI. These studies are designed to refine the mission requirements for the science goals, define a Design Reference Mission, perform trade studies of selected major technical and architectural issues, improve the existing technology roadmap, and explore the details of deployment and operations, as well as the possible roles of astronauts and/or robots in construction and servicing of the facility. Additional information on SI mission concepts and technology can be found at URL: http://hires.gsfc.nasa.gov/~si .

The SI Mission Concept Study is supported, in part, by grants from NASA-HQ through the 2003 Vision Mission NRA.


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