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SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory progress report
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Paper Abstract

The SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory (aka SIM Lite), a micro-arcsecond astrometry space mission, has been developed in response to NASA's indefinite deferral of the SIM PlanetQuest mission. The SIM Lite mission, while significantly more affordable than the SIM PlanetQuest mission concept, still addresses the full breadth of SIM science envisioned by two previous National Research Council (NRC) Astrophysics Decadal Surveys at the most stringent "Goal" level of astrometric measurement performance envisioned in those surveys. Over the past two years, the project has completed the conceptual design of the SIM Lite mission using only the completed SIM technology; published a 250 page book describing the science and mission design (available at the SIM website:; been subject to an independent cost and technical readiness assessment by the Aerospace Corporation; and submitted a number of information responses to the NRC Astro2010 Decadal Survey. The project also conducted an exoplanet-finding capability double blind study that clearly demonstrated the ability of the mission to survey 60 to 100 nearby sun-like dwarf stars for terrestrial, habitable zone planets in complex planetary systems. Additionally, the project has continued Engineering Risk Reduction activities by building brassboard (form, fit & function to flight) version of key instrument elements and subjecting them to flight qualification environmental and performance testing. This paper summarizes the progress over the last two years and the current state of the SIM Lite project.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77340H (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857831
Show Author Affiliations
James C. Marr, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Renaud Goullioud, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7734:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry II
William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke; Jayadev K. Rajagopal, Editor(s)

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