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Proceedings Paper

Detecting and characterizing exoplanets with a 1.4-m space telescope: the Pupil mapping Exoplanet Coronagraphic Observer (PECO)
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Paper Abstract

The Pupil-mapping Exoplanet Coronagraphic Observer (PECO) mission concept uses a coronagraphic 1.4-m space-based telescope to both image and characterize extra-solar planetary systems at optical wavelengths. PECO delivers 10-10 contrast at 2 λ/D separation (0.15") using a high-performance Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) coronagraph which remaps the telescope pupil and uses nearly all of the light coming into the aperture. For exoplanet characterization, PECO acquires narrow field images simultaneously in 16 spectral bands over wavelengths from 0.4 to 0.9 μm, utilizing all available photons for maximum wavefront sensing and sensitivity for imaging and spectroscopy. The optical design is optimized for simultaneous low-resolution spectral characterization of both planets and dust disks using a moderate-sized telescope. PECO will image the habitable zones of about 20 known F, G, K stars at a spectral resolution of R≈15 with sensitivity sufficient to detect and characterize Earth-like planets and to map dust disks to within a fraction of our own zodiacal dust cloud brightness. The PIAA coronagraph adopted for PECO reduces the required telescope diameter by a factor of two compared with other coronagraph approaches that were considered for Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Flight Baseline 1, and would therefore also be highly valuable for larger telescope diameters. We report on ongoing laboratory activities to develop and mature key PECO technologies, as well as detailed analysis aimed at verifying PECO's wavefront and pointing stability requirement can be met without requiring development of new technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7440, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV, 74400F (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826350
Show Author Affiliations
Olivier Guyon, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Subaru Telescope, NAOJ (United States)
James R. P. Angel, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Ruslan Belikov, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Robert Egerman, ITT Industries (United States)
Donald Gavel, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Amir Give'on, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thomas Greene, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Kerri Cahoy, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Brian Kern, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Marie Levine, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stephen Ridgway, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Domenick Tenerelli, Lockheed Martin Space Corp. (United States)
Robert Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Robert A. Woodruff, Lockheed Martin Space Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7440:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV
Stuart B. Shaklan, Editor(s)

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