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26 February 2003 Achromatic prism-based phaseshifter for nulling in the visible
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Nulling interferometry is a direct method to detect earth-like planets. To determine whether a planet is earth-like spectrometry is performed on a broadband infra-red (l = 4-20 mm) input signal from the planet. The star signal in this region is roughly 106 times stronger than the planet signal. Nulling interferometry should decrease the broadband star signal by about this factor of 106. This can be performed using an achromatic phaseshifter based on dispersive elements. The design of a complete breadboard under an ESA contract including a prism based (eight prisms in total) dispersive achromatic phaseshifter is presented including error budget and implied tolerances on the mechanical components. Measurements with this breadboard resulted in nulling depths of 3.5.105 for polarized laser light and just below 103 for polarized visible broadband light in the wavelength range of 530-750nm.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
H. J. P. Vink, Henk Bokhove, Bas R. Ouwerkerk, J. Pieter Kappelhof, Hedser H. van Brug, Bart Snijders, and L. L. A. Vosteen "Achromatic prism-based phaseshifter for nulling in the visible", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003);

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