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SIRIUS: a prototype astronomical intensity interferometer using avalanche photodiodes in linear mode
  • 오정환; Jan Wagner; Sascha Trippe; 외
  • 2021-02-01
  • MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 500 4 : 5630~5638
Optical intensity interferometry, developed in the 1950s, is a simple and inexpensive method for achieving angular resolutions on microarcsecond scales. Its low sensitivity has limited intensity interferometric observations to bright stars so far. Substantial improvements are possible by using avalanche photodiodes (APDs) as light detectors. Several recent experiments used APDs in single-photon detection mode; however, these either provide low electronic bandwidths (few MHz) or require very narrow optical bandpasses. We present here the results of laboratory measurements with a prototype astronomical intensity interferometer using two APDs observing an artificial star in continuous (‘linear’) detection mode with an electronic bandwidth of 100 MHz. We find a photon?photon correlation of about 10^?6, as expected from the ratio of the coherence times of the light source and the detectors. In a configuration where both detectors are on the optical axis (zero baseline), we achieve a signal-to-noise ratio of ∼2700 after 10 min of integration. When measuring the correlation as a function of baseline, we find a Gaussian correlation profile with a standard deviation corresponding to an angular half-width of the artificial star of 0.55 arcsec, in agreement with the estimate by the manufacturer. Our results demonstrate the possibility to construct large astronomical intensity interferometers using linear-mode APDs.