The Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) has two purposes: wide angle precise astrometry and high-resolution imaging, both at visible wavelengths. It operates with up to six 12-cm diameter apertures simultaneously, with baseline lengths (distances between array elements) from 16 m to 79 m, and disperses the combined light into 16 spectral channels. It has been operational since first fringes were found in 1994; six-beam operations began in 2001. The NPOI is undergoing upgrades in numerous areas: Control system and data acquisition improvements, a second beam combiner, additional array stations for both longer and shorter baselines, and supplemental delay lines to improve sky coverage for the longer baselines. Future possibilities include the installation of four fixed 1.8 m telescopes as well as up to six moveable lightweight 1.4 m telescopes. Observing programs, including programs led by outside investigators, cover a broad range of stellar astrophysics as well as observations of geostationary satellites.
- Instrumentation: Interferometers
- techniques: Interferometric