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Proceedings Paper

Micropixel-level image position sensing testbed
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Paper Abstract

The search for Earth-mass planets in the habitable zones of nearby Sun-like stars is an important goal of astrophysics. This search is not feasible with the current slate of astronomical instruments. We propose a new concept for microarcsecond astrometry which uses a simplified instrument and hence promises to be low cost. The concept employs a telescope with only a primary, laser metrology applied to the focal plane array, and new algorithms for measuring image position and displacement on the focal plane. The required level of accuracy in both the metrology and image position sensing is at a few micro-pixels. We have begun a detailed investigation of the feasibility of our approach using simulations and a micro-pixel image position sensing testbed called MCT. So far we have been able to demonstrate that the pixel-to-pixel distances in a focal plane can be measured with a precision of 20 micro-pixels and image-to-image distances with a precision of 30 micro-pixels. We have also shown using simulations that our image position algorithm can achieve accuracy of 4 micro-pixels in the presence of λ/20 wavefront errors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8151, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V, 81510W (15 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.894477
Show Author Affiliations
Bijan Nemati, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Chengxing Zhai, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hernan Erlig, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Renaud Goullioud, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Xu Wang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8151:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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