19 September 2007 Alignment of a terrestrial planet finder starshade at 20-100 megameters
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Abstract
For a planet-finding external occulter system applicable to Terrestrial Planet Finder, acquiring and maintaining collinearity of the telescope, occulter (starshade), and star can be a substantial challenge. The principal difficulty is the angular sensitivity and accuracy, and the telescope-starshade distance (20-100 megameters) is a significant complication. We discuss some sensor concepts as well as operations that support initial acquisition of a star, observations, slewing, and reacquisition. Among these concepts is one so simple that we can argue there is no enabling required in the alignment area.
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Martin Charles Noecker, "Alignment of a terrestrial planet finder starshade at 20-100 megameters", Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 669306 (19 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.736053; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.736053
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