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Proceedings Paper • new

Development of low-scatter optical edges for starshades
Author(s): John Steeves; Hyeong Jae Lee; Evan Hilgemann; Dylan McKeithen; Christine Bradley; David Webb; Stuart Shaklan; Stefan Martin; Douglas Lisman
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Paper Abstract

Starshades, combined with future space telescopes, provide the ability to detect Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone by producing high contrast ratios at small inner working angles. The primary function of a starshade is to suppress light from a target star such that its orbiting planets are revealed. In order to do so, the optical edges of the starshade must maintain their precise in-plane profile to produce the necessary apodization function. However, an equally important consideration is the interaction of these edges with light emanating from our own Sun as scattered and/or diffracted sunlight can significantly degrade the achievable contrast. This paper describes the technical efforts performed to obtain precision, low-scatter optical edges for future starshades. Trades between edge radius (i.e. sharpness) and surface reflectivity have been made and small-scale coupons have been produced using scalable manufacturing processes. A custom scattered light testbed has been developed to quantify the magnitude of scattered light over all sun angles. Models have also been developed to make predictions on the level of reflected and/or diffracted light for various edge architectures. The results of these studies have established a current baseline approach which implements photochemical etching techniques on thin metal foils.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 10706, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation III, 107065K (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312694
Show Author Affiliations
John Steeves, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hyeong Jae Lee, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Evan Hilgemann, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dylan McKeithen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Christine Bradley, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Webb, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stefan Martin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Douglas Lisman, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10706:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation III
Ramón Navarro; Roland Geyl, Editor(s)

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