20 October 2004 Darwin-GENIE: a nulling instrument at the VLTI
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Abstract
Darwin is one of the most challenging space projects ever considered by the European Space Agency (ESA). Its principal objectives are to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars and to characterise their atmospheres. Darwin is conceived as a space "nulling interferometer" which makes use of on-axis destructive interferences to extinguish the stellar light while keeping the off-axis signal of the orbiting planet. Within the frame of the Darwin program, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) intend to build a ground-based technology demonstrator called GENIE (Ground based European Nulling Interferometry Experiment). Such a ground-based demonstrator built around the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Paranal will test some of the key technologies required for the Darwin Infrared Space Interferometer. It will demonstrate that nulling interferometry can be achieved in a broad mid-IR band as a precursor to the next phase of the Darwin program. The instrument will operate in the L' band around 3.8 μm, where the thermal emission from the telescopes and the atmosphere is reduced. GENIE will be able to operate in two different configurations, i.e. either as a single Bracewell nulling interferometer or as a double-Bracewell nulling interferometer with an internal modulation scheme.
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Philippe Alain Gondoin, Philippe Alain Gondoin, Olivier Absil, Olivier Absil, Roland H. den Hartog, Roland H. den Hartog, Rainer C. Wilhelm, Rainer C. Wilhelm, Philippe B. Gitton, Philippe B. Gitton, Luigi L. A. d'Arcio, Luigi L. A. d'Arcio, Pierre Fabry, Pierre Fabry, Florence Puech, Florence Puech, Malcolm C. Fridlund, Malcolm C. Fridlund, Markus Schoeller, Markus Schoeller, Andreas Glindemann, Andreas Glindemann, Eric J. Bakker, Eric J. Bakker, Anders L. Karlsson, Anders L. Karlsson, Anthony J. Peacock, Anthony J. Peacock, S. Volonte, S. Volonte, Francesco Paresce, Francesco Paresce, Andrea Richichi, Andrea Richichi, } "Darwin-GENIE: a nulling instrument at the VLTI", Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.549411; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.549411
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