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16 September 2019 Design description and commissioning performance of a stable coronagraph technology development testbed for direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets
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Abstract
Direct imaging of an Earth-like exoplanet requires starlight suppression with a contrast ratio on the order of 1×10-10 at small angular separations of 100 milliarcseconds or less in visible light. To aid the technology development to reach this capability and enable future exoplanet missions, we built a high contrast coronagraph testbed, titled the Decadal Survey Testbed (DST). As of early 2019, the testbed has repeatedly demonstrated a monochromatic contrast floor about 1×10-10, and broadband performance at 550 nm with 10% color band- width <4×10-10 . The testbed has also demonstrated open-loop contrast drift rates of around 10-10/hour, temperature drift stabilities of <10 milliKelvins/day, passive pointing stability of around 0.1 λ/D per day on the occulting mask, and rms pointing jitter around 0.005 λ/D. This paper focusses primarily on the testbed hardware description, and a companion paper by Seo et al. details the experimental results.
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© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Keith D. Patterson, Byoung-Joon Seo, Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Talso Chui, Brendan Crill, John Gill, Brian Kern, Ray Lam, David Marx, Dwight Moody, Camilo Mejia Prada, Garreth Ruane, Jordan Rupp, John Shaw, Fang Shi, Nicholas Siegler, Hong Tang, John Trauger, Victor White, Daniel Wilson, Karl Yee, and Robert Zimmer "Design description and commissioning performance of a stable coronagraph technology development testbed for direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171U (16 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2530401
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