SPICA is a new visible beam combiner being developed by Denis Mourard and collaborators. It will combine all six telescopes at the CHARA Array. SPICA will be assisted by a near-infrared fringe tracker. The goal of the SPICA project is to provide a large and homogeneous set of stellar parameters across the HR-diagram. The survey aims to measure the angular diameters of 1000 stars.

SPICA will be equipped with a low-resolution spectrograph (R=150, 50 channels over 650–950 nm) for measuring precise angular diameters. For a sub-sample of bright stars, medium (R=4300) and high (R=13,200) spectral resolution modes will be available for spectral imaging of stellar surfaces and environments and kinematic studies.

To improve the limiting magnitude in the different modes and give access to a large sample of stars, SPICA will be assisted by a fringe tracking system in the H band to reach “long” (200 ms - 10 s) exposures of the fringe signals in the visible. The design is based on the FRIEND prototype and extended to 6T.

Installation of SPICA at the CHARA Array will begin in January 2022.

Visit the SPICA website for more information.


Observing and Data Reduction

SPICA User Manual


Instrument Papers:

SPICA, Stellar Parameters and Images with a Cophased Array: a 6T visible combiner for the CHARA Array - Mourard, Bério, Perraut, et al., 2017, JOSA-A, 34, A37

Progress of the CHARA/SPICA project - Pannetier, Mourard, Berio, et al. 2020, SPIE, 11446, 0

Fibered visible interferometry and adaptive optics: FRIEND at CHARA - Martinod, Mourard, Bério, et al. 2018, A&A, 618, 153

SPICA, a new 6T visible beam combiner for CHARA: science, design and interfaces - Mourard, Nardetto, et al. 2018, SPIE, 10701, 20

Long baseline interferometry in the visible: the FRIEND project - Berio, Bresson, Clausse, et al. 2014, SPIE, 9146, 16