Abstract

The intensity interferometer utilizes the correlations between intensity fluctuations to measure the coherence between light waves. Correlating the intensities of the waves and not their amplitudes can overcome the main disadvantage of the Michelson stellar interferometer in a space environment. It is shown that intensity interferometry should be applicable to stellar sources as weak as 8th magnitude, using techniques that are theoretically feasible today. Two approaches are proposed for a global sky observation campaign while minimizing spacecraft fuel consumption. In the second approach the computational interferometry observation method is introduced, which enables an observation of the full sky from a single orbit. Moreover, control laws were designed to relocate a spacecraft into the required baseline and to maintain it.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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