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Proceedings Paper

Planet detection in visible light with a single aperture telescope and nulling coronagraph
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the latest progress for visible direct detection of Earth like extrasolar planets using a nulling coronagraph instrument behind a 4m class telescope. Such a system is capable of satisfying the scientific objectives of the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission In our design, a 4 beam nulling interferometer is synthesized from the telescope pupil, producing a very deep null proportional to θ4 which is then filtered by a coherent array of single mode fibers to suppress the residual scattered light. With diffraction limited telescope optics and similar quality components in the optical train (λ/20), suppression of the starlight to 10-10 is achievable. Such a telescope with this nulling interferometer as back-end instrument can image and detect planets, or provide the input to a low resolution spectrometer. Shown are key features of this system in a space mission, latest results of laboratory measurements demonstrating achievable null depth, and progress toward fabrication of coherent single mode fiber arrays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.507807
Show Author Affiliations
B. Martin Levine, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Duncan T. Liu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James K. Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Benjamin F. Lane, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

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

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