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Proceedings Paper

Infrared coronagraph for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission: I. Overview and design concept
Author(s): Charles F. Lillie; Charles B. Atkinson; L. Suzanne Casement; Martin R. Flannery; Keith V. Kroening; Stewart L. Moses; Paul E. Glenn
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Paper Abstract

NASA wants to launch a Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission in 2014 to detect and characterize Earth-like planets around nearby stars, perform comparative planetology studies, and obtain general astrophysics observations. The detection of a 30th magnitude planet located within 80 milli-arcseconds of a 5th (Visual) magnitude star is an exceptionally challenging objective. Observations in the thermal infrared (7-17 mm) are somewhat easier since the planet is 'only' 15m fainter than the star at these wavelengths, but many severe challenges must still be overcome, including: Designing a spacecraft, a telescope and an IR coronagraph for star-planet separations equal to λ/D;(i) Providing a stable (~30K) thermal environment for the optics and isolating them from vibration sources; (ii)Developing a deployment scheme for a 28-m space telescope that can fit in an existing launch vehicle; (iii) Minimizing telescope mass to enable launch to L2 or a driftway orbit with a single launch vehicle; (iv) Generating a manufacturing plan that will permit TPF to be developed at a reasonable cost and schedule; (v) Identifying the key enabling technologies for TPF. This paper describes the IR Coronagraph we designed during our recent TPF Mission Architecture study in an effort to meet these challenges.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457850
Show Author Affiliations
Charles F. Lillie, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
Charles B. Atkinson, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
L. Suzanne Casement, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
Martin R. Flannery, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
Keith V. Kroening, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
Stewart L. Moses, TRW Space and Electronics (United States)
Paul E. Glenn, Bauer Associates, 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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