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dc.contributor.authorBharmal, Nazim
dc.description.abstractThe limitations of current stellar interferometers is their low sensitivity, and the next generation will account for this by using larger apertures. The phase aberrations from seeing will need the consideration of adaptive optics (AO). Accordingly, this dissertation will first examine the problem that seeing causes in stellar interferometers. The application of Adaptive Optics in Stellar Interferometry will then consider these results to achieve the final goal: reduced losses in fringe visibility and increased sensitivity. The thesis is organised with the second chapter discussing the theory of seeing phase aberrations; their origin and effect on image resolution and fringe visibility. These are used to quantify and compare performance metrics in AO and interferometry, and the specific benefits of AO for interferometry and its method of implementation are used to highlight areas of research that are discussed in other chapters. The third chapter discusses a solution to the problem of making high sensitivity wavefront measurements is presented in this chapter. Starting with existing WFSs used in interferometer AO systems, the methods of measuring high order aberrations are considered. A new WFS method, Diffractive Phase Sensing, is presented and an implementation is described in the context of a specific WFS design: the Nine Element Sensor (NES). The fourth chapter concerns numerical simulations of the NES to evaluate its performance in an AO system. Comparisons are made with two existing WFS designs, one commonly used in astronomical AO and the other in use within current interferometer AO. The conclusions drawn specify the observation regimes for which each of the three WFS designs is most appropriate. The design and construction of a NES prototype is discussed in the fifth chapter. The prototype WFS is first tested in the laboratory, and its novel optic and CCD detector operation were analysed prior to use. The prototype was then used to make measurements of defocus phase aberrations at COAST, and results from these observations are presented and discussed to understand their implication. The final chapter considers the existing AO system at COAST—the autoguider—and its measurements of tip/tilt aberrations. The aim and method used to parameterise the atmospheric turbulence is detailed, and the results are verified with measurements from a DIMM and with fringe visibilities. Using the autoguider, the statistics of the seeing at the COAST site is presented from a year long dataset.
dc.rightsAttribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
dc.subjectadaptive optics
dc.subjectstellar interferometry
dc.titleAdaptive Optics for Stellar Interferometry
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.contributor.orcidBharmal, Nazim [0000-0003-3708-2153]
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD in Physics
cam.supervisorBuscher, David

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Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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