Integrating interferometry into mainstream astronomy

The joint Research Activity "Integrating interferometry into the mainstream of astronomy" is the JRA4 of the Integrated Infrastructure Initiative OPTICON, financed within the 6th European Framework Program. Together with Network 5 of OPTICON and a Marie Curie Action in progress, it has been proposed by the Euro-Interferometry Initiative.


The objectives of JRA4 is to ensure that Europe will play a leading role in the development of optical interferometry over the next decade and to enable European astronomers to fully exploit the scientific potential of existing and planned large facilities.


The near-term scientific productivity of interferometers is limited mainly by: (1) the inherent limitations of the existing focal-plane instrumentation and the difficulties of phasing and co-phasing the elements of interferometric arrays, (2) the lack of adequate algorithms and tools for the analysis and interpretation of the data, (3) limitations of component technologies and modelling tools.

The participants of JRA4 will address areas (1) and (2) through the coordinated development of advanced analysis software, and targeted initiatives to further the design of next-generation focal-plane instrumentation and fringe tracking devices.