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Proceedings Paper

Design of an orbiting stellar interferometer for planet detection
Author(s): Jeffrey W. Yu; Michael Shao; M. Mark Colavita; Marc D. Rayman
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Paper Abstract

SONATA--Small OSI (Orbiting Stellar Interferometer) for Narrow angle Astrometry with Two Apertures--is a concept for a space based interferometer capable of detecting extra-solar planets. The instrument is an extension of the TOPS-0 interferometer testbed concept which is a ground-based dual feed interferometer, and the space-based OSI concept, which is being studied for the Astrophysics Division of NASA. The SONATA instrument uses a quadruple- feed interferometer which will be capable of measuring fringes on four stars simultaneously within a 10 arcminute field of view. The starlight is collected by two 0.4 meter telescopes separated by 7 meters. The use of common collecting optics results in cancellation of a large number of systematic errors found in multiple baseline designs. The targeted astrometric accuracy for SONATA is 0.5 uas. In the photon-noise limit, this performance can be achieved on 14th magnitude objects by integrating for 4 hours. This level of accuracy will enable detection of nearby Earth type planets. The SONATA design uses a non-deploying structure and will be launched on an Atlas II/Centaur for insertion into a 900 km Sun-synchronous orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 1993
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1947, Spaceborne Interferometry, (10 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.155743
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey W. Yu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
M. Mark Colavita, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Marc D. Rayman, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1947:
Spaceborne Interferometry
Robert D. Reasenberg, Editor(s)

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