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Proceedings Paper

Darwin-GENIE: a nulling instrument at the VLTI
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Paper Abstract

Darwin is one of the most challenging space projects ever considered by the European Space Agency (ESA). Its principal objectives are to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars and to characterise their atmospheres. Darwin is conceived as a space "nulling interferometer" which makes use of on-axis destructive interferences to extinguish the stellar light while keeping the off-axis signal of the orbiting planet. Within the frame of the Darwin program, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) intend to build a ground-based technology demonstrator called GENIE (Ground based European Nulling Interferometry Experiment). Such a ground-based demonstrator built around the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Paranal will test some of the key technologies required for the Darwin Infrared Space Interferometer. It will demonstrate that nulling interferometry can be achieved in a broad mid-IR band as a precursor to the next phase of the Darwin program. The instrument will operate in the L' band around 3.8 μm, where the thermal emission from the telescopes and the atmosphere is reduced. GENIE will be able to operate in two different configurations, i.e. either as a single Bracewell nulling interferometer or as a double-Bracewell nulling interferometer with an internal modulation scheme.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.549411
Show Author Affiliations
Philippe Alain Gondoin, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Olivier Absil, Univ. de Liege (Belgium)
Roland H. den Hartog, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Rainer C. Wilhelm, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Philippe B. Gitton, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Luigi L. A. d'Arcio, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Pierre Fabry, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Florence Puech, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Malcolm C. Fridlund, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Markus Schoeller, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Andreas Glindemann, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Eric J. Bakker, Leiden Observatory (Netherlands)
Anders L. Karlsson, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Anthony J. Peacock, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
S. Volonte, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Francesco Paresce, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Andrea Richichi, European Southern Observatory (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5491:
New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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