We discuss the design and the performance of a Fizeau interferometer with a long focal length and a large field of view that is well suited for a global astrometry space mission. Our work focuses on the geometric optimization and minimization of aberration of such an astrometric interferometer, which is able to observe astronomical targets down to the visual magnitude (mag) <i>m</i><sub><i>v</i></sub> = 20 mag, with an accuracy in the measurements of 10 micro-arcseconds at <i>m</i><sub><i>v</i></sub> = 15 mag. We assume a mission profile similar to that of the Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics mission of the European Space Agency. In this framework, data acquisition is performed by an array of CCDs working in time-delay integration mode. Optical aberrations, particularly distortion and coma, play a crucial role in the efficiency of this technique. We present a design solution that meets the requirements for the best possible exploitation of the time-delay integration mode over a field of view of 0.7° × 0.7°.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics
(350.6090) Other areas of optics : Space optics
Davide Loreggia, Daniele Gardiol, Mario Gai, Mario G. Lattanzi, and Deborah Busonero, "Fizeau Interferometer for Global Astrometry in Space," Appl. Opt. 43, 721-728 (2004)