Palomar Testbed Interferometer
PTI • Missions & Center • Past
The Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI) was a near-infrared stellar interferometer located at Palomar Observatory and operated by JPL. Three small telescopes along a 110-m baseline provided a ground-based facility for testing several key technologies for future space-borne interferometers. PTI was designed to detect planetary-mass companions to nearby stars through their gravitational influences. Beginning operation in 1995, PTI provided an engineering and science facility for refining differential astrometry and fringe amplitude measurements.
PTI operated as a science facility by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) with financial contributions from the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), the PHASES project, and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC).
Personnel from NExScI were instrumental in the development and scientific accomplishments of PTI, and are largely responsible for its data infrastructure, science planning and processing applications.