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Proceedings Paper

Pegase: a space-based nulling interferometer
Author(s): J. M. Le Duigou; M. Ollivier; A. Léger; F. Cassaing; B. Sorrente; B. Fleury; G. Rousset; O. Absil; D. Mourard; Y. Rabbia; L. Escarrat; F. Malbet; D. Rouan; R. Clédassou; M. Delpech; P. Duchon; B. Meyssignac; P.-Y. Guidotti; N. Gorius
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Paper Abstract

The space based mission Pegase was proposed to CNES in the framework of its call for scientific proposals for formation flying missions. This paper presents a summary of the phase-0 performed in 2005. The main scientific goal is the spectroscopy of hot Jupiters (Pegasides) and brown dwarfs from 2.5 to 5 μm. The mission can extend to other objectives such as the exploration of the inner part of protoplanetary disks, the study of dust clouds around AGN,... The instrument is basically a two-aperture (D=40 cm) interferometer composed of three satellites, two siderostats and one beam-combiner. The formation is linear and orbits around L2, pointing in the anti-solar direction within a +/-30° cone. The baseline is adjustable from 50 to 500 m in both nulling and visibility measurement modes. The angular resolution ranges from 1 to 20 mas and the spectral resolution is 60. In the nulling mode, a 2.5 nm rms stability of the optical path difference (OPD) and a pointing stability of 30 mas rms impose a two level control architecture. It combines control loops implemented at satellite level and control loops operating inside the payload using fine mechanisms. According to our preliminary study, this mission is feasible within an 8 to 9 years development plan using existing or slightly improved space components, but its cost requires international cooperation. Pegase could be a valuable Darwin/TPF-I pathfinder, with a less demanding, but still ambitious, technological challenge and a high associated scientific return.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2006
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62651M (13 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671091
Show Author Affiliations
J. M. Le Duigou, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
M. Ollivier, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (France)
A. Léger, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (France)
F. Cassaing, Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques (France)
B. Sorrente, Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques (France)
B. Fleury, Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques (France)
G. Rousset, Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques (France)
Observatoire de Paris (France)
O. Absil, Univ. de Liège (Belgium)
D. Mourard, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Y. Rabbia, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
L. Escarrat, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
F. Malbet, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
D. Rouan, Observatoire de Paris (France)
R. Clédassou, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
M. Delpech, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
P. Duchon, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
B. Meyssignac, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
P.-Y. Guidotti, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)
N. Gorius, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiale (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6265:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
John C. Mather; Howard A. MacEwen; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw, Editor(s)

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