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24 February 2003 Requirements for an optical 8-m space telescope with a MEMs deformable mirror to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars
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Abstract
Detecting life-bearing Earth-like planets (ELPs) is one of NASA's highest priority goals. In this paper we derive the wave-front requirements for optical detection of ELPs with an 8-m space telescope and coronagraph. We will present detailed simulations that show that an 8-m coronagraphic space telescope can detect Earth-sized planets around nearby stars, provided that the wavefront at the detector is corrected to an RMS error of ~λ/3000. We use the derived wavefront error to set requirements for a deformable mirror based on micro-electro-mechanical systems technology.
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Holland C. Ford, Mark Clampin, Garth D. Illingworth, John E. Krist, Scot S. Olivier, Larry Petro, and Gary E. Sommagren "Requirements for an optical 8-m space telescope with a MEMs deformable mirror to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars", Proc. SPIE 4854, Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation, (24 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460052; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460052
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