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Proceedings Paper

Fine art of computing nulling interferometer maps
Author(s): F. Hénault
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Paper Abstract

Spaceborne nulling interferometers are often characterized by means of their nulling ratio, which is defined as the deepest possible extinction of one target star supposed to harbor an extra-solar system. Herein is shown that another parameter, which is the transmitting efficiency of nearby bright fringes, is also of prime importance. More generally, "nulling maps" formed by the whole destructive and constructive fringe pattern projected on-sky, are found to be very sensitive on the design of some subsystems constituting the interferometer. In particular, we consider Spatial Filtering (SF) and Achromatic Phase Shifter (APS) devices, both required achieving planet detection and characterization. Consequences of the SF choice (pinhole or single-mode optical fiber) and APS properties (with or without induced pupil-flip) are discussed, for both monochromatic and polychromatic cases. Examples of numerical simulations are provided for single Bracewell interferometer, Angel cross and X-array configurations, demonstrating noticeable differences in the aspect of resulting nulling maps. It is concluded that both FS and APS designs exhibit variable capacities for serendipitous planet discovery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 70131X (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789000
Show Author Affiliations
F. Hénault, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Univ. de Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7013:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry
Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke, Editor(s)

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