Interferometric Remapped Array Nulling
Laboratoire Univ. d'Astroph. de Nice (LUAN), CNRS UMR 6525, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 02, France
2 Laboratoire Fresnel, CNRS UMR 6528, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, BP 4229, 06304 Nice cedex 4, France
Corresponding author: F. Vakili, Farrokh.Vakili@unice.fr
Accepted: 20 March 2004
This paper describes a method of beam-combination in the so-called hypertelescope imaging technique recently introduced by Labeyrie in optical interferometry. The method we propose is an alternative to the Michelson pupil reconfiguration that suffers from the loss of the classical object-image convolution relation. From elementary theory of Fourier optics we demonstrate that this problem can be solved by reconfiguring images instead of pupils. Imaging is performed in a combined pupil-plane where the point-source intensity distribution (PSID by comparison to the more commonly quoted point-spread function, PSF) tends towards a pseudo Airy disc for a sufficiently large number of telescopes. Our method is applicable to snap-shot imaging of extended sources with a field limited to the Airy pattern of single telescopes operated in a co-phased multi-aperture interferometric array. It thus allows to apply conveniently pupil plane coronagraphy. Our technique called Interferometric Remapped Array Nulling (IRAN) is particularly suitable for high dynamic imaging of extra-solar planetary companions or extra-galactic objects where long baseline interferometry would closely probe the central regions of AGNs for instance. We also discuss the application of IRAN to improve the performances of imaging and/or nulling interferometers like the full-fledged VLTI array or the DARWIN space-borne mission.
Key words: techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: interferometric
© ESO, 2004