Development of a fringe sensor based on 3×3 fiber optic coupler for space interferometry

L.K. Cheng, R. Koops, A. Wielders, W. Ubachs

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Large stellar telescope is indispensable for astronomy. Aperture synthesis is a well-known technique to simulate a large space telescope by an array of small telescopes. Condition for aperture synthesis is that the light of the telescopes have to be combined coherently. Therefore, an interferometric Fringe Sensor (FS) to detect and stabilize the Optical Path Difference (OPD) between light from the different telescopes is required. TNO TPD develops a Fringe Sensor based on a 3×3 Fiber Optic (FO) coupler. A breadboard demonstrator operating around 830 nm is built. A piezo stretcher and a translation stage is used to generate the OPD. High-speed sub-nm OPD measurement is demonstrated. The influence of the visibility V of the interferometric signal is also investigated. Even for V=0.2, an OPD modulation of 0.4 nm can still be detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247
Pages (from-to)1004-1007
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume5855 PART II
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Astrometry
  • Fiber optic
  • Interferometer
  • Interferometry


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