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Proceedings Paper

Phenomenology of extra-solar planets in reflected light and system level requirements for detection and characterization
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Paper Abstract

During our NASA sponsored study of candidate architectures for the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission we estimated the values of observable properties that would be accessible to an instrument intended to detect starlight reflected by a planet in the habitable zone of the system. These properties include architecture and wavelength independent geometrical properties such as angular separation between the star and planet, and timescales associated with orbital motion. Properties that do depend on the detection technique and wavelength include the brightness of the planet, its contrast relative to the star, and variability associated with diurnal and seasonal phenomena. The search space for a reflected light TPF is the range of these parameters calculated for a sample of 200 main sequence stars whose stellar properties make them potential targets. A scientific investigation such as that described by the TPF Science Working Group then leads to requirements on the sensitivity of the system, angular resolution, suppression of starlight and operational efficiency. We will describe our star sample, the search space of planetary observables and apparent system requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457641
Show Author Affiliations
Dennis Charles Ebbets, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Steven Kilston, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Roger P. Linfield, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4860:
High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection
Alfred B. Schultz; Richard G. Lyon, Editor(s)

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