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Proceedings Paper

Novel approach to the fabrication of noncircular apodized aperture ultrasmooth mirrors for exo-planet detection
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Paper Abstract

We suggest new approaches towards direct detection, in the near term, of Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars. Optical detection of such 'exo-planets' at visual wavelengths requires telescopes mirrors >1m diameter with very accurate figures, extremely smooth surfaces, and highly unusual shapes. The availability of such mirrors, with reasonable fabrication times and at affordable cost, is an issue of major concern. We describe how composite mirror technology is being developed to meet these very challenging requirements. A number of non-circular mirrors of modest (0.5 to 1.2m) aperture have already been made. We present data on the development and status of a low cost process that can make mirrors of corornagraphic quality with arbitrary shapes, very highly smooth surface, and ultra-low areal density.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457841
Show Author Affiliations
Peter C. Chen, Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. (United States)
Robert C. Romeo, Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. (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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