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Proceedings Paper

Demonstration of 1e-10 contrast at the inner working angle of a starshade in broadband light and at a flight-like Fresnel number
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Paper Abstract

Starshades are a leading technology to enable the direct detection and spectroscopic characterization of Earth-like exoplanets. Starshade starlight suppression technology is being advanced through sub-scale starshade demonstrations at the Princeton Starshade Testbed and we present here the successful completion of a technology milestone focused on the demonstration of high contrast at flight-required levels. We demonstrate 10-10 contrast at the inner working angle of a starshade with a flight-like Fresnel number at multiple wavelengths spanning a 10% bandpass. We show that while contrast at the inner working angle is limited by the presence of non-scalar diffraction as light propagates through narrow slits between the starshade petals, high contrast is still achieved over most of the image. Successful completion of this milestone verifies we can design a starshade capable of producing scientifically useful contrast levels.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111170L (9 September 2019);
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony Harness, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Michael Galvin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Phillip Willems, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Victor White, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Karl Yee, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Richard Muller, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Philip Dumont, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Simon Vuong, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11117:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX
Stuart B. Shaklan, Editor(s)

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