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5 July 2000 Nulling interferometry for the DARWIN mission: experimental demonstration of the concept in the thermal infrared with high levels of rejection
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Abstract
Present projects of space interferometers dedicated to the detection and analysis of extrasolar planets (DARWIN in Europe, TPF in the United States) are based on the nulling interferometry concept. This concept has been proposed by Bracewell in 1978 but has never been demonstrated with high values of rejection, in the thermal infrared range, where the planet detection should be performed (6 - 18 micrometers ). We have thus built a two-beam laboratory interferometer to validate this concept in a monochromatic case (at 10 micrometers ). The keypoint of our interferometer is the use of optical filtering by pinhole and optical fibers to clean the interfering beams. We present in this paper the principle of the experimental setup, its realization, and the first measurements of rejection it allowed. We also present the future developments of this interferometer.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Marc Ollivier, Jean-Marie Mariotti, Predrag Sekulic, Guy Michel, Alain M. Leger, Patrick Bouchareine, Jacqueline Brunaud, Vincent Coude du Foresto, Bertrand P. Mennesson, Pascal J. Borde, Anne Amy-Klein, A. Vanlerberghe, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Guy Edouard Artzner, and Fabien Malbet "Nulling interferometry for the DARWIN mission: experimental demonstration of the concept in the thermal infrared with high levels of rejection", Proc. SPIE 4006, Interferometry in Optical Astronomy, (5 July 2000); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.390226
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