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The Potential of Small Space Telescopes for Exoplanet Observations

Serabyn, E. and Mawet, D. and Burruss, R. (2010) The Potential of Small Space Telescopes for Exoplanet Observations. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave. Proceedings of SPIE. No.7731. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 77312O. ISBN 978-0-81948-221-1.

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The imaging of faint exoplanets near bright stars requires the development of very high contrast detection techniques, including both precise wavefront control and deep starlight rejection. A system-level proof-of-principle experiment carried out at at the Palomar Observatory has recently demonstrated that exoplanets can be detected very near stars even with a fairly small (1.5 m diameter) telescope aperture, such as someday might be used by a first space-based exoplanet imaging mission. Using fine-scale wavefront correction across this small aperture, together with fine pointing and focus control, pre- and post-detection speckle reduction, and a vector vortex coronagraph, it has been possible to achieve extremely good starlight rejection within a small number of diffractions beams of the stellar position. This performance has recently allowed the imaging of the three HR8799 planets and the HD32297 disk, thus providing a first system-level validation of the steps needed to achieve high-contrast observations at very small angles. These results thus serve to highlight the potential of small space telescopes aiming at high-contrast exoplanet observations. Specifically, a small-angle coronagraph enables the use of smaller telescopes, thus potentially reducing mission cost significantly.

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Mawet, D.0000-0002-8895-4735
Additional Information:© 2010 SPIE. The research described herein was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.
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Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:7731
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150526-094336246
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Official Citation:E. Serabyn ; D. Mawet ; R. Burruss; The potential of small space telescopes for exoplanet observations. Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 77312O (August 09, 2010); doi:10.1117/12.869683
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57801
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 May 2015 19:10
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:55

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