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Proceedings Paper

Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC): visible nulling cornagraph testbed results
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Paper Abstract

The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a NASA Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept under study for the upcoming Exoplanet Probe. EPIC's mission would be to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets, and potential super-Earths, in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys and potentially some transits, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres of gas giants around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched into a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime (5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 701045 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789700
Show Author Affiliations
Richard G. Lyon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mark Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Gary Melnick, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Volker Tolls, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Robert Woodruff, Lockheed-Martin Corp. (United States)
Gopal Vasudevan, Lockheed-Martin Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7010:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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