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Paper Abstract

The ESO planet finder instrument SPHERE will search for the polarimetric signature of the reflected light from extrasolar planets, using a VLT telescope, an extreme AO system (SAXO), a stellar coronagraph, and an imaging polarimeter (ZIMPOL). We present the design concept of the ZIMPOL instrument, a single-beam polarimeter that achieves very high polarimetric accuracy using fast polarization modulation and demodulating CCD detectors. Furthermore, we describe comprehensive performance simulations made with the CAOS problem-solving environment. We conclude that direct detection of Jupiter-sized planets in close orbit around the brightest nearby stars is achievable with imaging polarimetry, signal-switching calibration, and angular differential imaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70143F (25 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789158
Show Author Affiliations
Christian Thalmann, Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Hans M. Schmid, Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Anthony Boccaletti, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris (France)
David Mouillet, LAOG, CNRS, Univ. J. Fourier (France)
Kjetil Dohlen, LAM, CNRS, Univ. de Provence (France)
Ronald Roelfsema, NOVA-ASTRON (Netherlands)
Marcel Carbillet, UNS/CNRS/OCA (France)
Daniel Gisler, Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Jean-Luc Beuzit, LAOG, CNRS, Univ. J. Fourier (France)
Markus Feldt, Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany)
Raffaele Gratton, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)
Franco Joos, Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Christoph U. Keller, Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht (Netherlands)
Jan Kragt, NOVA-ASTRON (Netherlands)
Johan H. Pragt, NOVA-ASTRON (Netherlands)
Pascal Puget, LAOG, CNRS, Univ. J. Fourier (France)
Florence Rigal, NOVA-ASTRON (Netherlands)
Frans Snik, Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht (Netherlands)
Rens Waters, Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek (Netherlands)
François Wildi, Observatoire Astronomique de l'Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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