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Experimental Astronomy

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 475–495 | Cite as

The path towards high-contrast imaging with the VLTI: the Hi-5 project

  • D. DefrèreEmail author
  • O. Absil
  • J.-P. Berger
  • T. Boulet
  • W. C. Danchi
  • S. Ertel
  • A. Gallenne
  • F. Hénault
  • P. Hinz
  • E. Huby
  • M. Ireland
  • S. Kraus
  • L. Labadie
  • J.-B. Le Bouquin
  • G. Martin
  • A. Matter
  • A. Mérand
  • B. Mennesson
  • S. Minardi
  • J. D. Monnier
  • B. Norris
  • G. Orban de Xivry
  • E. Pedretti
  • J.-U. Pott
  • M. Reggiani
  • E. Serabyn
  • J. Surdej
  • K. R. W. Tristram
  • J. Woillez
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Future of Optical-infrared Interferometry in Europe

Abstract

The development of high-contrast capabilities has long been recognized as one of the top priorities for the VLTI. As of today, the VLTI routinely achieves contrasts of a few 10− 3 in the near-infrared with PIONIER (H band) and GRAVITY (K band). Nulling interferometers in the northern hemisphere and non-redundant aperture masking experiments have, however, demonstrated that contrasts of at least a few 10− 4 are within reach using specific beam combination and data acquisition techniques. In this paper, we explore the possibility to reach similar or higher contrasts on the VLTI. After reviewing the state-of-the-art in high-contrast infrared interferometry, we discuss key features that made the success of other high-contrast interferometric instruments (e.g., integrated optics, nulling, closure phase, and statistical data reduction) and address possible avenues to improve the contrast of the VLTI by at least one order of magnitude. In particular, we discuss the possibility to use integrated optics, proven in the near-infrared, in the thermal near-infrared (L and M bands, 3-5 \(\upmu \)m), a sweet spot to image and characterize young extra-solar planetary systems. Finally, we address the science cases of a high-contrast VLTI imaging instrument and focus particularly on exoplanet science (young exoplanets, planet formation, and exozodiacal disks), stellar physics (fundamental parameters and multiplicity), and extragalactic astrophysics (active galactic nuclei and fundamental constants). Synergies and scientific preparation for other potential future instruments such as the Planet Formation Imager are also briefly discussed. This project is called Hi-5 for High-contrast Interferometry up to 5 μm.

Keywords

Infrared interferometry Integrated optics VLTI Hi-5 PFI Exoplanet Exozodiacal dust AGN 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the support from the H2020 OPTICON Joint Research Network. DD and OA thank the Belgian national funds for scientific research (FNRS). SK acknowledges support from an ERC Starting Grant (Grant Agreement No. 639889) and STFC Rutherford Fellowship (ST/J004030/1).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Defrère
    • 1
    Email author return OK on get
  • O. Absil
    • 1
  • J.-P. Berger
    • 2
  • T. Boulet
    • 1
  • W. C. Danchi
    • 3
  • S. Ertel
    • 4
  • A. Gallenne
    • 5
  • F. Hénault
    • 2
  • P. Hinz
    • 4
  • E. Huby
    • 6
  • M. Ireland
    • 7
  • S. Kraus
    • 8
  • L. Labadie
    • 9
  • J.-B. Le Bouquin
    • 2
  • G. Martin
    • 2
  • A. Matter
    • 10
  • A. Mérand
    • 11
  • B. Mennesson
    • 12
  • S. Minardi
    • 13
    • 16
  • J. D. Monnier
    • 14
  • B. Norris
    • 15
  • G. Orban de Xivry
    • 1
  • E. Pedretti
    • 16
  • J.-U. Pott
    • 17
  • M. Reggiani
    • 1
  • E. Serabyn
    • 12
  • J. Surdej
    • 1
  • K. R. W. Tristram
    • 5
  • J. Woillez
    • 11
  1. 1.Space sciences, Technologies & Astrophysics Research (STAR) InstituteUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAGGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Exoplanets & Stellar Astrophysics LaboratoryNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  4. 4.Steward Observatory, Department of AstronomyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  5. 5.European Southern ObservatoryVitacuraChile
  6. 6.LESIA, Observatoire de ParisPSL Research UniversityMeudon CedexFrance
  7. 7.Research School of Astronomy and AstrophysicsAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  8. 8.School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  9. 9.I. Physikalisches InstitutUniversität zu KölnCologneGermany
  10. 10.Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Bd de l’Observatoire, CS 34229Nice cedex 4France
  11. 11.European Southern ObservatoryMunichGermany
  12. 12.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  13. 13.University of JenaJenaGermany
  14. 14.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  15. 15.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  16. 16.innoFSPECLeibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) GermanyPotsdamGermany
  17. 17.Max Planck Institute for AstronomyHeidelbergGermany

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