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MAPLE: Reflected Light from Exoplanets with a 50-cm Diameter Stratospheric Balloon Telescope

Marois, Christian and Bradley, Colin and Pazder, John and Nash, Reston and Metchev, Stanimir and Grandmont, Frédéric and Maire, Anne-Lise and Belikov, Ruslan and Macintosh, Bruce and Currie, Thayne and Galicher, Raphaël and Marchis, Franck and Mawet, Dimitri and Serabyn, Eugene and Steinbring, Eric (2014) MAPLE: Reflected Light from Exoplanets with a 50-cm Diameter Stratospheric Balloon Telescope. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave. Proceedings of SPIE. No.9143. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 91432R. ISBN 9780819496119.

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Detecting light reflected from exoplanets by direct imaging is the next major milestone in the search for, and characterization of, an Earth twin. Due to the high-risk and cost associated with satellites and limitations imposed by the atmosphere for ground-based instruments, we propose a bottom-up approach to reach that ultimate goal with an endeavor named MAPLE. MAPLE first project is a stratospheric balloon experiment called MAPLE-50. MAPLE-50 consists of a 50 cm diameter off-axis telescope working in the near-UV. The advantages of the near-UV are a small inner working angle and an improved contrast for blue planets. Along with the sophisticated tracking system to mitigate balloon pointing errors, MAPLE-50 will have a deformable mirror, a vortex coronograph, and a self-coherent camera as a focal plane wavefront-sensor which employs an Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD) as the science detector. The EMCCD will allow photon counting at kHz rates, thereby closely tracking telescope and instrument-bench-induced aberrations as they evolve with time. In addition, the EMCCD will acquire the science data with almost no read noise penalty. To mitigate risk and lower costs, MAPLE-50 will at first have a single optical channel with a minimum of moving parts. The goal is to reach a few times 109 contrast in 25 h worth of flying time, allowing direct detection of Jovians around the nearest stars. Once the 50 cm infrastructure has been validated, the telescope diameter will then be increased to a 1.5 m diameter (MAPLE-150) to reach 1010 contrast and have the capability to image another Earth.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Marois, Christian0000-0002-4164-4182
Metchev, Stanimir0000-0003-3050-8203
Maire, Anne-Lise0000-0002-2591-4138
Macintosh, Bruce0000-0003-1212-7538
Currie, Thayne0000-0002-7405-3119
Marchis, Franck0000-0001-7016-7277
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Additional Information:© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Subject Keywords:Planetary Systems, Exoplanets, High-Contrast Imaging, Reflected Light, Space Observatory, Wavefront Control, Coronagraph
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:9143
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150520-134448057
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Christian Marois ; Colin Bradley ; John Pazder ; Reston Nash ; Stanimir Metchev, et al. " MAPLE: reflected light from exoplanets with a 50-cm diameter stratospheric balloon telescope ", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 91432R (August 28, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2056747;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57717
Deposited On:20 May 2015 23:23
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:54

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