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Proceedings Paper

Optical systems engineering for a terrestrial planet finder coronagraph
Author(s): Charley Noecker; Robert A. Woodruff; Chris Burrows
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Paper Abstract

Optical coronagraphy is a promising possibility for finding and characterizing Earth-like planets that orbit nearby stars. This approach begins with a large unobscured conventional telescope, but significant modifications are needed to achieve adequate suppression of the glare of the star. Three techniques are under consideration for suppression of the aperture diffraction which redirects starlight into the planet's pixel; once this is satisfied, extraordinary precision and stability in the wavefront are needed as well to suppress scatter of the starlight into that pixel. We discuss the central choices in the setting of error budgets, a summary of key allocations in that budget, optical model results that demonstrate the operation and performance of the system, and key hardware requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457916
Show Author Affiliations
Charley Noecker, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Robert A. Woodruff, Boeing-SVS, Inc. (United States)
Chris Burrows, Metajiva (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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