AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 82 Ground Based Optical Interferometry
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[82.14] Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer Science Mission and Design Requirements

M. J. Creech-Eakman (New Mexico Tech/MRO), Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer Team

The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer is envisioned to be a 10-element optical and near-infrared imaging interferometer in the Magdalena Mountains, about 45 minutes west of Socorro, NM at 10,500 ft. The interferometer is being designed by collaboration between scientists and engineers at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the COAST group at Cambridge University. The science reference mission for the interferometer, from which we derive the design requirements, has three main components: the study of stellar and planetary formation, developing a better understanding of physical processes at various stages of stellar evolution, and characterization of the innermost regions of active galactic nuclei. A discussion of each of these key areas and the subsequent design requirements they place on the interferometer will be presented. Construction of the facility will begin in April, 2006 with expected first fringes in 2008.

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