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Ultimate Angular Resolution Astrophysics with kernel-phase and full-aperture interferometry

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "KERNEL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: NICE
postcode: 6304
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙717˙811 €
 EC max contribution 1˙717˙811 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    OBSERVATOIRE DE LA COTE D'AZUR (OCA) FR (NICE) coordinator 1˙717˙811.00


 Project objective

Astronomy requires large telescopes to improve the sensitivity and the angular resolution of its observations. Of these qualities, angular resolution is the most difficult to maintain in the optical and near-infrared, since the atmosphere reduces it to that of a 10 cm aperture, regardless of the telescope size. On the one-hand, Adaptive Optics (AO) actively compensates for this effect but the improvement is often partial only. On the other hand, interferometric techniques (most notably sparse aperture masking interferometry) passively allow the extraction of self-calibrating observables, that boost the angular resolution, but severely affect the sensitivity of observations. A framework newly established by the PI of the proposal however now makes it possible to extract generalized self-calibrating observables called kernel-phases from conventional AO-corrected images. The work outlined in this proposal will make it possible to scientifically exploit the high angular resolution imaging capability of this technique, to improve its robustness and to expand its capabilities. The framework offers a very general purpose high angular resolution imaging tool for astronomers as well as wavefront control experts. This proposal is organized in five work-packages of increasing challenge that include: the reinterpretation of existing archival data with a super-resolution capability, the expansion of its robustness to open up new more challenging use-cases, a special focus on the development of a very high-dynamic range mode, the adaptation of interferometric image reconstruction techniques, and the development of new advanced AO concepts. The consequences of this project will have a major impact on the design and scientific exploitation of future high angular resolution instrumentation on the existing generation of 8-10 meter class telescopes as well as on the upcoming generation of 30-40 meter giants, championned by Europe and its E-ELT.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 A. Ceau, D. Mary, A. Greenbaum, F. Martinache, A. Sivaramakrishnan, R. Laugier, M. N’Diaye
Kernel-phase detection limits
published pages: A120, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935247
Astronomy & Astrophysics 630 2019-12-16
2017 P. Janin-Potiron, M. N’Diaye, P. Martinez, A. Vigan, K. Dohlen, M. Carbillet
Fine cophasing of segmented aperture telescopes with ZELDA, a Zernike wavefront sensor in the diffraction-limited regime
published pages: A23, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201730686
Astronomy & Astrophysics 603 2019-06-18
2018 Frantz Martinache
Interferometry in the focal plane with KERNEL
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.26698/ao4elt5.0157
Proceedings of the Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes 5 2019-06-07
2018 Mamadou N Diaye
Mitigate the impact of ELT architecture on AO performance: learn from today s telescopes to characterize and prevent the island effect
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.26698/ao4elt5.0132
Proceedings of the Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes 5 2019-06-07
2019 Julien Lozi, Nemanja Jovanovic, Olivier Guyon, Mark Chun, Shane Jacobson, Sean Goebel, Frantz Martinache
Visible and Near-infrared Laboratory Demonstration of a Simplified Pyramid Wavefront Sensor
published pages: 44503, ISSN: 0004-6280, DOI: 10.1088/1538-3873/ab046a
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 131/998 2019-06-07
2019 Jens Kammerer, Michael J Ireland, Frantz Martinache, Julien H Girard
Kernel phase imaging with VLT/NACO: high-contrast detection of new candidate low-mass stellar companions at the diffraction limit
published pages: 639-654, ISSN: 0035-8711, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz882
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 486/1 2019-05-15
2019 R. Laugier, F. Martinache, A. Ceau, D. Mary, M. N’Diaye, J.-L. Beuzit
Recovering saturated images for high dynamic kernel-phase analysis
published pages: A164, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834387
Astronomy & Astrophysics 623 2019-05-15
2018 Frantz Martinache, Michael J. Ireland
Kernel-nulling for a robust direct interferometric detection of extrasolar planets
published pages: A87, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832847
Astronomy & Astrophysics 619 2019-05-15

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