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Proceedings Paper

Earth-like planets: science performance predictions for future nulling interferometry missions
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Paper Abstract

With the launch of planet-transit missions such as CoRoT and Kepler, it is expected that Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars will be detected soon. This milestone will open the path towards the definition of missions able to study the atmosphere of Earth-sized extrasolar planets, with the identification of bio-signatures as one of the main objectives. In that respect, both the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have identified nulling interferometry as one of the most promising techniques. Trying to minimize the cost and the technological risks while maximizing the scientific return, ESA and NASA recently converged towards a single mission architecture, the Emma X-array. In this paper, we present the expected science performance of this concept computed with two independent mission simulators. The impact of different observational parameters such as planet radius and exozodiacal cloud density is specifically addressed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 701321 (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789393
Show Author Affiliations
D. Defrère, Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Univ. de Liège (Belgium)
O. Lay, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
R. den Hartog, ESA/ESTEC (Netherlands)
O. Absil, LAOG, CNRS, Univ. Joseph Fourier (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7013:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry
Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke, Editor(s)

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