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Proceedings Paper

Laboratory studies of petal-shaped occulters
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Paper Abstract

We present laboratory studies of scaled occulting starshades for the New Worlds Observer (NWO). A deep reactive ion etched silicon starshade has been fabricated by NIST, designed to cover the same number of Fresnel zones as in the proposed mission. The broadband shadow is mapped with a photometer in a dark vacuum tunnel fed by a heliostat at HAO. CCD images provide direct contrast measurements of different features around the starshade. Preliminary measurements reach 5x10-6 suppression in the center of the shadow at the focal plane. The two-dimensional structure of the starshade diffraction pattern is compared to that produced by the Fresnel integral.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 669305 (19 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734480
Show Author Affiliations
E. Schindhelm, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
A. Shipley, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
P. Oakley, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
D. Leviton, Goddard Space Flight Center (United States)
W. Cash, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
G. Card, High Altitude Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6693:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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