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19 September 2007 TPF-Emma: concept study of a planet finding space interferometer
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A novel space interferometer design originating in Europe has been studied. The interferometer uses the technique of starlight nulling to enable detection of earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars. A set of four telescope spacecraft flying in formation with a fifth, beam-combiner spacecraft forms the interferometer. This particular concept shows potential for reducing the mission cost when compared with previous concepts by greatly reducing the complexity of the telescope spacecraft. These spacecraft have no major deployable systems, have simplified propulsion and a more rugged construction. The formation flying geometry provides for greater average separation between the spacecraft with commensurate risk reduction. Key aspects of the design have been studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a view to collaborations between NASA and the European Space Agency. An overview of the design study is presented with some comparisons with the TPF-FFI concept.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stefan R. Martin, Daniel Scharf, Richard Wirz, Oliver Lay, David McKinstry, Bertrand Mennesson, George Purcell, Jose Rodriguez, Laurence Scherr, James R. Smith, and Leonard Wayne "TPF-Emma: concept study of a planet finding space interferometer", Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 669309 (19 September 2007);


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