Benjamin Setterholm

About Me

I am a research faculty member of the University of Michigan Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. My work is centered on the advancement of interferometric techniques for high spatial resolution astronomy at optical and radio wavelengths.

Curriculum Vitae


By coherently combining light collected from multiple telescopes (an interferometer), it is possible to recover an image of a an astronomical source tens or hundreds of times sharper than what is attainable with a single telescope alone. My research is focused on advancing the field of high angular resolution astronomy, both through the creation and characterization of new instrumentation and via the detailed analysis of interferometric observables for source reconstruction.


The Sun Radio Interferometry Space Experiment (SunRISE) is a forthcoming six-cubesat NASA mission that will investigate the formation and motion of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. I am the lead developer of the data processing and analysis pipeline for this mission.

Learn more


MIRC-X and MYSTIC are the workhorse near-infrared beam combiners operating at the CHARA Array, leveraging all 15 CHARA baselines and new detector technologies to enable sub-milliarcsecond resolution imaging of targets as faint as 7th magnitude. I worked on the design, fabrication, testing, and comissioning of critical subsystems for both instruments.

Learn more

Protoplanetary Disks

Utilizing interferometric observations from CHARA and VLTI, I study the geometry and dynamics of the terrestrial planet formation regions of nearby protoplanetary disks. With current generation instrumentation, we are able to resolve sub-au scale structures near the dust sublimation radius, and track their evolution over time.

Learn more