Abstract

We analyze the degrading effects of spectral decorrelation introduced by atmospheric turbulence on astronomical images obtained from a long-baseline Michelson interferometer. Our approach consists of a theoretical computation of the polychromatic spectrum, based on a numerical model of the atmospheric turbulence. The model uses the von Kármán definitions parameterized by the Fried parameter r0 and the outer scale L0. Through the theoretical analysis of fringe visibility estimated from the polychromatic spectrum, we show how the turbulence model can reproduce visibility behavior with respect to the spectral bandwidth and the separation of two spectral bands. This validation is realized by comparing theoretical to measured visibilities of α Cephei. The future use of this work is to calibrate these losses to improve the accuracy of the GI2T interferometer's observations.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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