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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser.
Volume 116, Number 2, April_II 1996
Page(s) 381 - 393
Interferometric connection of large ground-based telescopes DOI: 10.1051/aas:1996121

Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series, Vol. 116, No. 3, April 1996, 381-393

Interferometric connection of large ground-based telescopes

J.-M. Mariotti , V. Coudé du Foresto , G. Perrin , Peiqian Zhao and P. Léna

Send offprint requests to: J.-M. Mariotti (

Observatoire de Paris, DESPA, F-92195 Meudon Principal, France
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Nanjing Astronomical Instruments Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210042, China
Université Paris 7 -- Denis Diderot, Paris, France

Received April 11; accepted September 27, 1995


In this article, we argue that the recent advent of two technological breakthroughs in the field of Optics, namely the development of Adaptive Optics and of infrared single-mode fibers, is likely to modify our conception of astronomical interferometry at optical wavelengths. In particular, it should become possible to realize the coherent combination of the giant telescopes that tend to cluster at the best ground-based astronomical sites. Although more limited in their scope than the dedicated interferometric systems, these potential arrays could achieve impressive performances in terms of sensitivity and angular resolution. As an example, we discuss in more details the case of a Mauna Kea cluster of large telescopes.

Key words: telescopes --- techniques: interferometry --- techniques: adaptive optics --- instrumentation: interferometers --- optical fibers: single-mode --- infrared: general

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