Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 71 - Space Astronomy in the Next Millennium.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[71.12] The Dilute Lens Imager - A 25-m Space Interferometer

D. Van Buren (IPAC), R. Laskin (JPL), M. Colavita (JPL)

Operating in the wavelength range of 0.5 to 10 \mum the Dilute Lens Imager (DLI) will observe the universe with unprecedented clarity over wide (by interferometry standards) fields of view. At visible wavelengths DLI will provide a ten-fold improvement in resolution over the Hubble Space Telescope with a modest improvement in sensitivity. Launched into an Earth-trailing solar orbit, the telescope consists of 10-12 apertures placed with minimally redundant spacings on a linear truss. By mimicking the operation of lens elements using reflective optics we reduce all mechanical tolerances by up to 11øver2 orders of magnitude, giving rise to a potentially large cost savings compared to a more conventional design. Full sampling in the (u,v)-plane is attained by rotating the spacecraft around the line of sight in a synthetic aperture technique. DLI's 4 mas beam at 0.5 \mum (80 mas at 10 \mum) and 16 arcminute field will afford it a view of the distant universe sufficient to reach objects with z>10. DLI will also attain very high relative positional accuracies, \approx 4-40 \muarcsec, providing a potentially important tool for studies of neighboring planetary systems. Several instrument packages are considered: a spectrometer with R=1000 and a diffraction-limited broad-band camera with a format of 8K \times 8K pixels.

Program listing for Wednesday