Paper VII of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication

In this paper, Hansen et al (arxiv) follows on their analysis of architectures from paper IV, this time delving into some of the practical and instrumental considerations of building a beam combiner. They present a possible five telescope combiner design based on the work of Guyon, 2013, consisting of a cascade of beam splitters and phase shifters, that could produce the qualities of the abstracted combiner in paper IV. They then delve into various instrumental errors that could occur, including manufacturing tolerance errors in the beam splitters, fringe tracking errors and chromatic errors induced through the process of phase chopping. Finally, they conclude with an unforeseen benefit of the design: the mission would still work as a nulling interferometer even if up to two telescopes were to malfunction, a benefit that the current X-array design does not have.