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    Optical and Quasi-Optical Analysis of System Components for a Far-Infrared Space Interferometer

    Bracken, Colm and O'Sullivan, Créidhe and Donohoe, Anthony and Murphy, J.Anthony and Savini, G. and Juanola-Parramon, Roser and Baccichet, Nicola and Guisseau, A. and Ade, P.A.R. and Pascale, Enzo and Spencer, L. and Walker, I.K. and Dohlen, Kjetil and Lightfoot, John and Holland, Wayne and Jones, Mike and Walker, David and McMillan, Alison (2015) Optical and Quasi-Optical Analysis of System Components for a Far-Infrared Space Interferometer. Proceedings of SPIE, 9362 (93620N). ISSN 0277-786X

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    Many important astrophysical processes occur at wavelengths that fall within the far-infrared band of the EM spectrum, and over distance scales that require sub-arc second spatial resolution. It is clear that in order to achieve sub-arc second resolution at these relatively long wavelengths (compared to optical/near-IR), which are strongly absorbed by the atmosphere, a space-based far-IR interferometer will be required. We present analysis of the optical system for a proposed spatial-spectral interferometer, discussing the challenges that arise when designing such a system and the simulation techniques employed that aim to resolve these issues. Many of these specific challenges relate to combining the beams from multiple telescopes where the wavelengths involved are relatively short (compared to radio interferometry), meaning that care must be taken with mirror surface quality, where surface form errors not only present potential degradation of the single system beams, but also serve to reduce fringe visibility when multiple telescope beams are combined. Also, the long baselines required for sub-arc second resolution present challenges when considering propagation of the relatively long wavelengths of the signal beam, where beam divergence becomes significant if the beam demagnification of the telescopes is not carefully considered. Furthermore, detection of the extremely weak far-IR signals demands ultra-sensitive detectors and instruments capable of operating at maximum efficiency. Thus, as will be shown, care must be taken when designing each component of such a complex quasioptical system.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the version of the published article is available at . The published article is available at C. Bracken, C. O'Sullivan, A. Donohoe, A. Murphy, G. Savini, R. Juanola-Parramon, Nicola Baccichet, A. Guisseau, P. Ade, E. Pascale, L. Spencer, I. Walker, K. Dohlen, John F. Lightfoot, W. Holland, Martyn Jones, D. D. Walker, and Alison McMillan "Optical and quasi-optical analysis of system components for a far-infrared space interferometer", Proc. SPIE 9362, Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications VIII, 93620N (14 March 2015);
    Keywords: FISICA; far-infrared (far-IR); interferometry; double-Fourier;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Experimental Physics
    Item ID: 13777
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Anthony Murphy
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 15:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of SPIE
    Publisher: SPIE
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: European Union Seventh Framework Programme

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