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Calibrating an Interferometric Null

Lane, Benjamin F. and Muterspaugh, Matthew W. and Shao, Michael (2006) Calibrating an Interferometric Null. Astrophysical Journal, 648 (2). pp. 1276-1284. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/506020.

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One of the biggest challenges associated with a nulling-interferometer-based approach to detecting extrasolar Earthlike planets comes from the extremely stringent requirements of path length, polarization, and amplitude matching in the interferometer. To the extent that the light from multiple apertures is not matched in these properties, light will leak through the nuller and confuse the search for a planetary signal. Here we explore the possibility of using the coherence properties of the starlight to separate contributions from the planet and nuller leakage. We find that straightforward modifications to the optical layout of a nulling interferometer will allow one to measure and correct for the leakage to a high degree of precision. This nulling calibration relaxes the field matching requirements substantially and should consequently simplify the instrument design.

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Additional Information:© 2006 American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 April 10; accepted 2006 May 20. We are grateful to M. Colavita, O. Lay, and D. Kaplan for helpful comments during manuscript preparation. Part of the work described in this paper was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. B. F. L. acknowledges support from a Pappalardo Fellowship in Physics.
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Pappalardo Fellowship in PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:techniques: interferometric
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110428-151558133
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Official Citation:Calibrating an Interferometric Null Benjamin F. Lane et al. 2006 ApJ 648 1276
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23494
Deposited On:29 Apr 2011 17:42
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:15

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