Single-photon intensity interferometry (SPIIFY): Utilizing available telescopes

Genady Pilyavsky, Philip Mauskopf, Nathan Smith, Edward Schroeder, Adrian Sinclair, Gerard T. van Belle, Natalie Hinkel, Paul Scowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


One of the main scientific goals of optical interferometers is to measure the angular diameters of stars. These measurements, combined with precise distance measurements, such as those from the upcoming Gaia satellite, can provide improved constraints on stellar linear diameters and effective temperature. We describe a modular intensity interferometer system using commercially available single-photon detectors. We present our calculations on the sensitivity and uv-plane coverage using these modules mounted on existing telescopes on Kitt Peak, Arizona. Determining accurate stellar properties is important for testing models of stellar evolution as well as for deriving physical properties of transiting exoplanets. Our simulations indicate that we should be able to measure stellar diameters of bright stars with AB magnitude ≤6 with a precision of ≥5 per cent in a single night of observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3055
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Instrumentation: high angular resolution
  • Instrumentation: interferometers
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Techniques: high angular resolution
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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