The large binocular telescope interferometer

Phil M. Hinz, J. Roger P. Angel, Don W. McCarthy, William F. Hoffmann, Chien Y. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The Large Binocular Telescope (LET), with dual 8.4 m optics on a common mount, is unique among the large-aperture interferometers. Deformable secondaries on the telescope capable of adaptive atmospheric correction allow beam combination after only three warm reflections. The design allows the implementation of two powerful uses of interferometry: suppression of starlight (or nulling interferometry) and wide-field imaging (or Fizeau interferometry). Nulling will allow detection of extrasolar planetary systems (from either zodiacal emission or giant planets) down to solar system-equivalent levels for nearby stars. This will dramatically increase our knowledge of the prevalence and make-up of extrasolar planetary systems. Fizeau interferometry will allow imaging of even complex structure at the resolution of a 22.8 m telescope. To implement these two powerful techniques the University of Arizona and NASA are collaborating to build the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) a cryogenic instrument capable of sensitive interferometric observations in the infrared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
EventInterferometry for Optical Astronomy II - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2002Aug 28 2002

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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