13 June 2006 A nulling coronagraph for TPF-C
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Abstract
The nulling coronagraph is one of 5 instrument concepts selected by NASA for study for potential use in the TPF-C mission. This concept for extreme starlight suppression has two major components, a nulling interferometer to suppress the starlight to ~10-10 per airy spot within 2 λ/D of the star, and a calibration interferometer to measure the residual scattered starlight. The ability to work at 2 λ/D dramatically improves the science throughput of a space based coronagraph like TPF-C. The calibration interferometer is an equally important part of the starlight suppression system. It measures the measures the wavefront of the scattered starlight with very high SNR, to 0.05nm in less than 5 minutes on a 5mag star. In addition, the post coronagraph wavefront sensor will be used to measure the residual scattered light after the coronagraph and subtract it in post processing to 1~2x10-11 to enable detection of an Earthlike planet with a SNR of 5~10.
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Michael Shao, Bruce Martin Levine, James Kent Wallace, Glenn S. Orton, Edouard Schmidtlin, Benjamin F. Lane, Sara Seager, Volker Tolls, Richard G. Lyon, Rocco Samuele, Domenick J. Tenerelli, Robert Woodruff, Jian Ge, "A nulling coronagraph for TPF-C", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 626517 (13 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671934; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.671934
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