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S. Ridgway (NOAO/NASA)
Key technical challenges of optical interferometry - phasing of telescopes, optical delay control, beam transport, combination, detection, data extraction - have been demonstrated in interferometer prototypes. First generation facilities are now enabling an outpouring of science at angular resolutions as small as 1 milliarcsec. Extrapolating from this experience, it is already possible to map out with confidence numerous alternative paths for optical interferometry in the future. Are the most promising directions ultra-high angular resolution, precision imagery, astrometry, high dynamic range, wide field, faint sources - some combination of the above? Broad community input is needed to address such strategy questions.
This talk will give a snapshot of the current status, an overview of some second-generation concepts, and explore how recent experience may suggest directions for the future. It will also sketch a roadmap for interferometry planning over the next few years.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.