MIRC-X is a new beam combination instrument at the CHARA array that enables 6-telescope interferometric imaging on object classes that until now have been out of reach for milliarcsecond-resolution imaging. As part of an instrumentation effort lead by the University of Exeter and University of Michigan, we equipped the MIRC instrument with an ultra-low read-noise detector system and extended the wavelength range to the J and H- band. The first phase of the MIRC-X commissioning was successfully completed in June 2017. In 2018 we will commission polarisation control to improve the visibility calibration and implement a 'cross-talk resiliant' mode that will minimise visibility cross-talk and enable exoplanet searches using precision closure phases. Here we outline our key science drivers and give an overview about our commissioning timeline. We comment on operational aspects, such as remote observing, and the prospects of co-phased parallel operations with the upcoming MYSTIC combiner.
Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI
- Pub Date:
- July 2018
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 13 pages, 10 figures, presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018, Austin, Texas, USA