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This lecture presents the principle of the heterodyne interferometer. An heterodyne interferometer is composed of antennas (described in A.Greve lecture, Chapter 1), receivers (described in B.Lazareff lecture, Chapter 5), a correlator (described in H.Wiesemeyer lecture, Chapter 6) and an awful lot of cables and connections. This lecture only describes the basic principles; a more complete description, including subtleties due to multiple frequency conversions and digital delay lines, is given in R.Lucas lecture, Chapter 7.