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Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC): commissioning results at the CHARA Array

Monnier, John D. and Pedretti, Ettore and Thureau, Nathalie and Berger, Jean-Philippe and Millan-Gabet, Rafael and ten Brummelaar, Theo and McAlister, Harold and Sturmann, Judit and Sturmann, Lazlo and Muirhead, Phil and Tannirkulam, Ajay and Webster, Scott and Zhao, Ming (2006) Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC): commissioning results at the CHARA Array. In: Advances in Stellar Interferometry. Proceedings of SPIE. No.6268. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 62681P. ISBN 9780819463333.

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The Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC) has been designed for two primary goals: 1) imaging with all six CHARA telescopes simultaneously in the near-infrared, 2) direct detection of "hot Jupiter" exoplanets using precision closure phases. In September 2005, MIRC was commissioned on-sky at the CHARA Array on Mt. Wilson, CA, successfully combining light from 4 telescopes simultaneously. After a brief overview of MIRC features and design philosophy, we provide detailed description of key components and present results of laboratory tests. Lastly, we present first results from the commissioning run, focusing on engineering performance. We also present remarkable on-sky closure phase results from the first night of recorded data with the best-ever demonstrated closure phase stability and precision (ΔΦ = 0.03 degrees).

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Monnier, John D.0000-0002-3380-3307
Berger, Jean-Philippe0000-0001-5025-0428
Millan-Gabet, Rafael0000-0003-0447-5866
ten Brummelaar, Theo0000-0002-0114-7915
Muirhead, Phil0000-0002-0638-8822
Zhao, Ming0000-0002-4258-9517
Additional Information:© 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We gratefully acknowledge funding from the University of Michigan for construction and commissioning of the MIRC combiner. The design concept is the result of conversations with many interferometrists, and the authors have appreciated their input. We have tried to take advantage of lessons learned in the fabrication and use of recent combiners, in particular from NPOI, COAST, AMBER (VLTI) and FATCAT (Keck Interferometer). We specially thank G. Vasisht and G. Perrin for specific help with regard to IR camera and fiber issues. We also acknowledge the important help of Guangyu Li who helped polish the v-groove array. E. Pedretti acknowledges support from a NASA Michelson Fellowship and N. Thureau was supported by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship. Thank you to P.J. Goldfinger, Nils Turner, Bob Cadman, Steve Golden and Mandy Paige-Henderson for technical and/or observing support at CHARA during commissioning – we always miss your emails after leaving. Lastly, we acknowledge the State of Georgia, the National Science Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and the Lucille and David Packard Foundation for funding the construction of the CHARA array; array operations are being supported by Georgia State University and NSF-AST 0307562.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of MichiganUNSPECIFIED
NASA Michelson FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
State of GeorgiaUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Georgia State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:imaging, interferometry, infrared, closure phase, infrared
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:6268
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190715-104244475
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:John D. Monnier, Ettore Pedretti, Nathalie Thureau, Jean-Philippe Berger, Rafael Millan-Gabet, Theo ten Brummelaar, Harold McAlister, Judit Sturmann, Lazlo Sturmann, Phil Muirhead, Ajay Tannirkulam, Scott Webster, and Ming Zhao "Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC): commissioning results at the CHARA Array", Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 62681P (28 June 2006);
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97146
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jul 2019 18:02
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:27

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