From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
A starshade is a specially designed opaque screen to suppress starlight and remove the effects of diffraction at the edge. The intensity at the pupil plane in the shadow is dark enough to detect Earth-like exoplanets by using direct imaging. At Princeton, we have designed and built a testbed that allows verification of scaled starshade designs whose suppressed shadow is mathematically identical to that of space starshade. The starshade testbed uses a 77.2 m optical propagation distance to realize the flight Fresnel number of 14.5. Here, we present lab result of a revised sample design operating at a flight Fresnel number. We compare the experimental results with simulations that predict the ultimate contrast performance.
Yunjong Kim, Anthony Harness, Dan Sirbu, Mengya Hu, Mike Galvin, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Robert J. Vanderbei, and Stuart B. Shaklan, "Optical demonstration of a starshade at flight Fresnel numbers ," Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 104001A (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 10, 2017; Published: 1 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273287.
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