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Proceedings Paper

Results of the astrometry and direct imaging testbed for exoplanet detection
Author(s): Eduardo A. Bendek; Ruslan Belikov; Eugene Pluzhnik; Olivier Guyon; Thomas Milster; Lee Johnson; Emily Finan; Justin Knight; Alexander Rodack
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Paper Abstract

Measuring masses of long-period planets around F, G, and K stars is necessary to characterize exoplanets and assess their habitability. Imaging stellar astrometry offers a unique opportunity to solve radial velocity system inclination ambiguity and determine exoplanet masses. The main limiting factor in sparse-field astrometry, besides photon noise, is the non-systematic dynamic distortions that arise from perturbations in the optical train. Even space optics suffer from dynamic distortions in the optical system at the sub-μas level. To overcome this limitation we propose a diffractive pupil that uses an array of dots on the primary mirror creating polychromatic diffraction spikes in the focal plane, which are used to calibrate the distortions in the optical system. By combining this technology with a high-performance coronagraph, measurements of planetary systems orbits and masses can be obtained faster and more accurately than by applying traditional techniques separately. In this paper, we present the results of the combined astrometry and and highcontrast imaging experiments performed at NASA Ames Research Center as part of a Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions program. We demonstrated 2.38x10-5 λ/D astrometric accuracy per axis and 1.72x10-7 raw contrast from 1.6 to 4.5 λ/D. In addition, using a simple average subtraction post-processing we demonstrated no contamination of the coronagraph field down to 4.79x10-9 raw contrast.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2017
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 104001G (1 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274729
Show Author Affiliations
Eduardo A. Bendek, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Ruslan Belikov, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Eugene Pluzhnik, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Olivier Guyon, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Thomas Milster, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Lee Johnson, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Emily Finan, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Justin Knight, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Alexander Rodack, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10400:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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