Journal Article

Direct imaging with highly diluted apertures – II. Properties of the point spread function of a hypertelescope

F. Patru, N. Tarmoul, D. Mourard and O. Lardière

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 4, pages 2363-2372
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14716.x
Direct imaging with highly diluted apertures – II. Properties of the point spread function of a hypertelescope

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In the future, optical stellar interferometers will provide true images thanks to larger number of telescopes and to advanced cophasing subsystems. These conditions are required to have sufficient resolution elements (resel) in the image and to provide direct images in the hypertelescope mode. It has already been shown that hypertelescopes provide snapshot images with a significant gain in sensitivity without inducing any loss of the useful field of view for direct imaging applications. This paper aims at studying the properties of the point spread functions of future large arrays using the hypertelescope mode. Numerical simulations have been performed and criteria have been defined to study the image properties. It is shown that the choice of the configuration of the array is a trade-off between the resolution, the halo level and the field of view. A regular pattern of the array of telescopes optimizes the image quality (low halo level and maximum encircled energy in the central peak), but decreases the useful field of view. Moreover, a non-redundant array is less sensitive to the space aliasing effect than a redundant array.

Keywords: instrumentation: high angular resolution; instrumentation: interferometers; methods: observational; telescopes

Journal Article.  4647 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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