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Proceedings Paper

Design of a laboratory testbed for external occulters at flight Fresnel numbers
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Paper Abstract

One of the main candidates for creating high-contrast for future Exo-Earth detection is an external occulter or sharshade. A starshade blocks the light from the parent star by flying in formation along the line-of-sight from a space telescope. Because of its large size and scale it is impossible to fully test a starshade system on the ground before launch. Instead, we rely on modeling supported by subscale laboratory tests to verify the models. At Princeton, we are designing and building a subscale testbed to verify the suppression and contrast of a starshade at the same Fresnel number as a flight system, and thus mathematically identical to a realistic space mission. Here we present the mechanical design of the testbed and simulations predicting the ultimate contrast performance. We will also present progress in implementation and preliminary results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2015
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9605, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII, 960511 (16 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186349
Show Author Affiliations
Yunjong Kim, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Mike Galvin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Dongok Ryu, Yonsei Univ. (Korea, Republic of)
Ki-Won Kim, Zernike International (Korea, Republic of)
Sug-Whan Kim, Yonsei Univ. (Korea, Republic of)
Dan Sirbu, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9605:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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