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Proceedings Paper

Simulation of a method to directly image exoplanets around multiple stars systems
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Paper Abstract

Direct imaging of extra-solar planets has now become a reality, especially with the deployment and commissioning of the first generation of specialized ground-based instruments such as the GPI, SPHERE, P1640 and SCExAO. These systems will allow detection of planets 107 times fainter than their host star. For space- based missions, such as EXCEDE, EXO-C, EXO-S, WFIRST/AFTA, different teams have shown in laboratories contrasts reaching 10-10 within a few diffraction limits from the star using a combination of a coronagraph to suppress light coming from the host star and a wavefront control system. These demonstrations use a de- formable mirror (DM) to remove residual starlight (speckles) created by the imperfections of telescope. However, all these current and future systems focus on detecting faint planets around a single host star or unresolved bi- naries/multiples, while several targets or planet candidates are located around nearby binary stars such as our neighbor star Alpha Centauri. Until now, it has been thought that removing the light of a companion star is impossible with current technology, excluding binary star systems from target lists of direct imaging missions. Direct imaging around binaries/multiple systems at a level of contrast allowing Earth-like planet detection is challenging because the region of interest, where a dark zone is essential, is contaminated by the light coming from the hosts star companion. We propose a method to simultaneously correct aberrations and diffraction of light coming from the target star as well as its companion star in order to reveal planets orbiting the target star. This method works even if the companion star is outside the control region of the DM (beyond its half-Nyquist frequency), by taking advantage of aliasing effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 914335 (28 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054948
Show Author Affiliations
Sandrine J. Thomas, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Eduardo Bendek, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Ruslan Belikov, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9143:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mark Clampin; Giovanni G. Fazio; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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