The “Grand Interféromètre à deux Télescopes” (GI2T) is presently the largest operational interferometer operating at visible wavelengths (Labeyrie et al. 1986, Mourard et al. 1991). With two telescopes of 1.5-m aperture and baselines reaching 65 m in the North–South direction, it gives stellar spectra containing interference fringes, which provide high angular resolution measurements in the range of one milliarcsecond.
The GI2T optical combination follows the Michelson principle of output pupil remapping to preserve a constant fringe spacing on the detector for stable and economical spatial sampling. The stellar light is dispersed in order to study the fringes parameters simultaneously with the spectral information. The direction of dispersion is perpendicular to that of the recombined pupils. Due to atmospheric turbulence the instantaneous images contain about 100 speckles. To freeze the atmospheric turbulence a temporal resolution of at least 10 milliseconds is needed.