Optical configuration and analysis of the AMBER/VLTI instrument

S. Robbe-Dubois, S. Lagarde, R. G. Petrov, F. Lisi, U. Beckmann, P. Antonelli, Y. Bresson, G. Martinot-Lagarde, A. Roussel, P. Salinari, M. Vannier, A. Chelli, G. Duvert, S. Gennari, P. Kern, E. Le Coarer, F. Malbet, F. Millour, K. Perraut, P. Puget, E. Tatulli, G. Weigelt, G. Zins, M. Accardo, B. Acke, K. Agabi, E. Altariba, B. Arezki, E. Aristidi, C. Baffa, J. Behrend, S. Bonhomme, S. Busoni, F. Cassaing, J.-M. Clausse, J. Colin, C. Connot, L. Delage, A. Domiciano de Sousa Jr., T. Driebe, P. Feautrier, D. Ferruzzi, T. Forveille, E. Fossat, R. Foy, D. Fraix-Burnet, A. Gallardo, E. Giani, C. Gil, A. Glentzlin, M. Heiden, M. Heininger, O. Hernandez, K.-H. Hofmann, D. Kamm, M. Kiekebusch, S. Kraus, D. Le Contel, J.-M Le Contel, T. Lesourd, B. Lopez, M. Lopez, Y. Magnard, A. Marconi, G. Mars, P. Mathias, J.-L. Monin, D. Mouillet, D. Mourard, E. Nussbaum, K. Ohnaka, J. Pacheco, C. Perrier, Y. D. Rabbia, S. Rebattu, F. Reynaud, A. Richichi, A. Robini, M. Sacchettini, D. Schertl, W. Solscheid, A. Spang, P. Stee, P. Stefanini, M. Tallon, I. Tallon-Bosc, D. Tasso, L. Testi, F. Vakili, J.-C. Valtier, N. Ventura

Aims. This paper describes the design goals and engineering efforts that led to the realization of AMBER (Astronomical Multi BEam combineR) and to the achievement of its present performance.
Methods. On the basis of the general instrumental concept, AMBER was decomposed into modules whose functions and detailed characteristics are given. Emphasis is put on the spatial filtering system, a key element of the instrument. We established a budget for transmission and contrast degradation through the different modules, and made the detailed optical design. The latter confirmed the overall performance of the instrument and defined the exact implementation of the AMBER optics.
Results. The performance was assessed with laboratory measurements and commissionings at the VLTI, in terms of spectral coverage and resolution, instrumental contrast higher than 0.80, minimum magnitude of 11 in K, absolute visibility accuracy of 1%, and differential phase stability of 10−3 rad over one minute.

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 464, Page 13
February 2007

DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20065432