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Proceedings Paper

System design and technology development for the Terrestrial Planet Finder infrared interferometer
Author(s): Gary H. Blackwood; Eugene Serabyn; Serge Dubovitsky; MiMi Aung; Steven M. Gunter; Curt Henry
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the technical program that will demonstrate the viability of two mid-infrared nulling interferometer architectures for the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) to support a mission concept downselect in 2006 between a nulling interferometer and a visible coronagraph. The TPF science objectives are to survey a statistically significant number of nearby solar-type stars for radiation from terrestrial planets, to characterize these planets and to perform spectroscopy for detection of biomarkers. A 4-telescope, 36-m Structurally-Connected Interferometer using a dual-chopped Bracewell nuller will meet the minimum science requirement to completely survey at least 30 nearby stars and partially survey 120 others. A Formation-Flying Interferometer is being designed to meet the full science requirement to completely survey at least 150 stars, and involves a trade between dual-chopped Bracewell, degenerate Angel Cross, and the Darwin bow-tie configuration. The system engineering trades for the connected structure and formation-flying architectures are described. The top technical concerns for these architectures are mapped to technology developments that will retire these concerns prior to the project downselect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2003
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.521311
Show Author Affiliations
Gary H. Blackwood, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eugene Serabyn, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Serge Dubovitsky, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
MiMi Aung, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Steven M. Gunter, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Curt Henry, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5170:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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