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The Hanbury Brown and Twiss (HBT) interferometer was proposed to observe intensity correlations of starlight to measure a star’s angular diameter. As the intensity of light that reaches the detector from a star is very weak, one cannot usually get a workable signal-to-noise ratio. We propose an improved HBT interferometric scheme incorporating optical parametric amplifiers (OPA) into the system to amplify the correlation signal. Remarkably, for weak star light, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the new HBT interferometric scheme is much better than that of conventional HBT interferometer. Our work is valuable in measuring a star whose intensity at the detector is low and maybe also applicable in remote sensing and long-distance quantum imaging where the light passed through the object is weak after a long distance transmission.

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EPJ Quantum Technology