Monday, March 18, 2013

1303.3658 (J. Gordon Robertson et al.)

Science and Technology Progress at the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer    [PDF]

J. Gordon Robertson, Michael J. Ireland, William J. Tango, Peter G. Tuthill, Benjamin A. Warrington, Yitping Kok, Aaron C. Rizzuto, Anthony Cheetham, Andrew P. Jacob
This paper presents an overview of recent progress at the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer (SUSI). Development of the third-generation PAVO beam combiner has continued. The MUSCA beam combiner for high-precision differential astrometry using visible light phase referencing is under active development and will be the subject of a separate paper. Because SUSI was one of the pioneering interferometric instruments, some of its original systems are old and have become difficult to maintain. We are undertaking a campaign of modernization of systems: (1) an upgrade of the Optical Path Length Compensator IR laser metrology counter electronics from a custom system which uses an obsolete single-board computer to a modern one based on an FPGA interfaced to a Linux computer - in addition to improving maintainability, this upgrade should allow smoother motion and higher carriage speeds; (2) the replacement of the aged single-board computer local controllers for the siderostats and the longitudinal dispersion compensator has been completed; (3) the large beam reducing telescope has been replaced with a pair of smaller units with separate accessible foci. Examples of scientific results are also included.
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