EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 493, Number 2, January II 2009
Page(s) 747 - 752
Section Astronomical instrumentation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810613
Published online 20 November 2008

A&A 493, 747-752 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810613

Post-processing the VLTI fringe-tracking data: first measurements of stars

J.-B. Le Bouquin1, R. Abuter2, P. Haguenauer1, B. Bauvir2, D. Popovic2, and E. Pozna2

1  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
    e-mail: jlebouqu@eso.org
2  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany

Received 15 July 2008 / Accepted 10 October 2008

Context. At the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, the purpose of the fringe-tracker FINITO is to stabilize the optical path differences between the beams, allowing longer integration times on the scientific instruments AMBER and MIDI.
Aims. Our goal is to demonstrate the potential of FINITO for providing H-band interferometric visibilities, simultaneously and in addition to its normal fringe-tracking role.
Methods. We use data obtained during the commissioning of the Reflective Memory Network Recorder at the Paranal observatory. This device has permitted the first recording of all relevant real-time data needed for a proper data-reduction.
Results. We show that post-processing the FINITO data allows valuable scientific visibilities to be measured. Over the several hours of our engineering experiment, the intrinsic transfer function is stable at the level of $\pm$2%. Such stability would lead to robust measurements of science stars even without the observation of a calibration star within a short period of time. We briefly discuss the current limitations and the potential improvements.

Key words: instrumentation: high angular resolution -- instrumentation: interferometers -- techniques: high angular resolution -- techniques: interferometric

© ESO 2009