7 July 2004 Adaptive optics and site requirements for the search of Earth-like planets with ELTs
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Proceedings Volume 5382, Second Backaskog Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes; (2004) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.566273
Event: Second Backaskog Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes, 2003, Backaskog, Sweden
Abstract
Since 1995, expolanets discoveries have triggered a renewal of the permanent question about the possible presence of life outside the solar system. Direct detection and characterization of earth-like extrasolar planets orbiting main-sequence stars are now among the most exciting and challenging astronomical topics where new major scientific results from space missions and also from ground-based ELT are expected. To scale the performances of an ELT for exoplanets searching, we examine the relative impact of three fundamental parameters (the actuator pitch, the telescope diameter and the site) on the image contrast. Then, we calculate the planet/star flux ratio needed to reach SNR=3 in 10h (only the photon noise is considered) from long-exposure AO-PSF computed with PAOLA (a fast analytical code developed by one of us: L.J.) for different ELT sizes and AO parameters under different observational conditions (atmospheric turbulenece, star magnitude) with or without coronagraphy. We find that an actuator pitch of 0.1 m is optimal for exoplanet searching in the visible and near-IR from 10 to 40 pc. Lastly, we emphasize that the site choice is as important as the telescope size choice is: a 15m telescope is just enough for coronagraphic search for exo-earths at 10pc (SNR=3 in 10h) from the promising Dome C (Antarctica), while a 30m ELT is needed to succeed the same observation in the same time from the Mauna Kea.
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Olivier Lardiere, Olivier Lardiere, Piero Salinari, Piero Salinari, Laurent Jolissaint, Laurent Jolissaint, Marcel Carbillet, Marcel Carbillet, Armando Riccardi, Armando Riccardi, Simone Esposito, Simone Esposito, "Adaptive optics and site requirements for the search of Earth-like planets with ELTs", Proc. SPIE 5382, Second Backaskog Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes, (7 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.566273; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.566273
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