Deployment of beam alignment hardware at the magdalena ridge observatory interferometer
The first unit telescope of Ridge Observatory Interferometer is integrated on the array and starlight has been observed in the Beam Combining Area for the first time. From the telescope, the beam travels in vacuum over a path of >50m, including a beam relay system and delay line. This feat was made possible by a prototype version of the Automated Alignment System that we are developing for minimising fringe visibility loss due to misalignment. We present results of on-site validation of UTLIS, a reference light source at the unit telescope acting as a proxy for starlight, and BEASST, a Shack-Hartmann sensor that simultaneously detects beam angle and position.
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/M001172/1)