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Proceedings Paper

Hubble extra-solar planet interferometer
Author(s): Michael Shao
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a proposed third-generation Hubble instrument for extra-solar planet detection, the Hubble Extra-Solar Planet Interferometer (HESPI). This instrument would be able to achieve starlight cancellation at the 10 exp 6 to 10 exp 8 level, given a stellar wavefront with phase errors comparable to the present Hubble telescope wavefront. At 10 exp 6 starlight cancellation, HESPI would be able to detect a Jupiter-like planet next to a star at a distance of about 10 parsec, for which there are about 400 candidate stars. This paper describes a novel approach for starlight suppression, using a combination of active control and single-mode spatial filters, to achieve starlight suppression far below the classical limit set by scattering due to microsurface imperfections. In preliminary lab experiments, suppression by a factor of 40 below the classical scatter limit due to optical wavefront errors has been demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1991
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1494, Space Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments, (1 September 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.46735
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1494:
Space Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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