Abstract

An interferometric device designed to be located in the focal plane of a large astronomical telescope is presented. The prime application is for the forthcoming large space telescope. The device is to perform interferometry on the optical wavefront arising from a single star after it has propagated through the telescope. The concept of a focal plane figure sensor has been experimentally verified by fabricating and testing an operating laboratory breadboard figure sensor. A set of linear independent control equations are derived that define the operations for utilizing a focal plane figure sensor in the control loops for the positioning of the secondary mirror and for the active control of the primary mirror optical figure. A number of scientific experiments that could be performed with the interferometer are also briefly discussed.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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