In comparison to the radio and sub-millimetric domains, imaging with optical interferometry is still in its infancy. Due to the limited number of telescopes in existing arrays, image generation is a demanding process that relies on time-consuming reconfiguration of the interferometer array and super-synthesis. Using single mode optical fibres for the coherent transport of light from the collecting telescopes to the focal plane, a new generation of interferometers optimized for imaging can be designed. To support this claim, we report on the successful completion of the `OHANA Iki project: an end-to-end, on-sky demonstration of a two-telescope interferometer, built around near-infrared single mode fibres, carried out as part of the `OHANA project. Having demonstrated that coherent transport by single-mode fibres is feasible, we explore the concepts, performances, and limitations of a new imaging facility with single mode fibres at its heart: Agile Guided Interferometer for Longbaseline Imaging Synthesis (AGILIS). AGILIS has the potential of becoming a next generation facility or a precursor to a much larger project like the Planet Formation Imager (PFI).
J. Woillez, O. Lai, G. Perrin, et. al.
Tue, 14 Mar 17
Comments: 16 pages, 10 figures, 2 tables, accepted in A&A