Abstract

High angular resolution studies of stars in the optical domain have highly progressed in recent years. After the results obtained with the visible instrument Visible spEctroGraph and polArimeter (VEGA) on the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) array and the recent developments on adaptive optics and fibered interferometry, we have started the design and study of a new six-telescope visible combiner with single-mode fibers. It is designed as a low spectral resolution instrument for the measurement of the angular diameter of stars to make a major step forward in terms of magnitude and precision with respect to the present situation. For a large sample of bright stars, a medium spectral resolution mode will allow unprecedented spectral imaging of stellar surfaces and environments for higher accuracy on stellar/planetary parameters. To reach the ultimate performance of the instrument in terms of limiting magnitude (Rmag8 for diameter measurements and Rmag4 to 5 for imaging), Stellar Parameters and Images with a Cophased Array (SPICA) includes the development of a dedicated fringe tracking system in the H band to reach “long” (200 ms to 30 s) exposures of the fringe signal in the visible.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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