Infrared array camera for interferometry with the cophased Multiple Mirror Telescope

D. W. McCarthy, B. A. McLeod, D. Barlow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Scopus citations


An infrared camera has been developed for interferometric imaging on large telescopes. Observations obtained with the 6.86 m aperture of the cophased Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) demonstrate the ease with which future 8 m telescopes can achieve diffraction-limited performance from 1 to 5.5 μm. With the MMT, the infrared camera has imaged astronomical sources at 3.5 μm with a diffraction-limited resolution of 0.10 arcsec. The camera uses a 58×62 pixel InSb focal plane array built by Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC) to obtain high quantum efficiency (approximately 80%) and low readout noise (300 electrons per picture). An excess noise from the SBRC detector is related to the resetting process and can be removed through proper readout methods and data processing. Interchangeable optics, filters, an internal focal plane shutter, and a coronagraphic mask are cooled inside the dewar to reduce the thermal background. Adjustable exposures as short as 4 msec are obtained at a maximum rate of 10 Hz to freeze atmospheric turbulence. A VMEbus, 68020-based computer system digitizes and records raw data, displays data frames in real-time, and computes the coadded power spectra and object visibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsJim B. Breckinridge
PublisherPubl by Int Soc for Optical Engineering
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819402818
StatePublished - 1990
EventAmplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry - Tucson, AZ, USA
Duration: Feb 14 1990Feb 16 1990

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceAmplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry
CityTucson, AZ, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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