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Proceedings Paper

Evolving exosolar planet detection methods with lab experiments and integrated modeling: I. Modeling
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Paper Abstract

Recent studies of exosolar planet detection methods with a space-based visible light coronagraph have shown the feasibility of this approach. However, the telescope optical precision requirements are extremely demanding - a few Angstroms residual wavefront error - which is beyond current capabilities for large optical surfaces. Secondly, the coronagraph depends upon use of masks located at either the pupil or a focus to reject the starlight and image the exosolar planet. Effects of diffraction and light scatter place precision requirements mask manufacturing. To increase understanding and optimize performance of the coronagraph, laboratory experiments backed by end-to-end integrated models are used to project on-orbit performance. Of particular importance is the wavefront propagation through the optical system - from simple Fraunhaufer propagation to vector propagators taking into account 3D structures of the masks. Accurate models, which match test data are then used to evolve the initial coronagraph concepts for in-flight performance. In part I, we discuss error sources and model development to meet mission goals. In part II, a paper to be published at a future date, we compare lab experiment and expected residual error sources.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2003
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.506404
Show Author Affiliations
Michael D. Lieber, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Steve Kilston, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Michael G. Littman, Princeton Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5170:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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