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9 July 2008 Design of a laboratory simulator to test exoplanet imaging polarimetry
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Research on extrasolar planets is one of the most rapidly advancing fields of astrophysics. In just over a decade since the discovery of the first extra-solar planet orbiting around 51 Pegasi, 289 extrasolar planets have been discovered. This breakthrough is the result of the development of a wide range of new observational techniques and facilities for the detection and characterisation of extrasolar planets. In Utrecht we are building the Extreme Polarimeter (ExPo) to image extra-solar planets and circumstellar environments using polarimetry at contrast ratio of 10-9. To test and calibrate ExPo, we have built a laboratory-based simulator that mimics a star with a Jupiter-like exoplanet as seen by the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope. The star and planet are simulated using two single-mode fibres in close proximity that are fed with a broadband arc lamp with a contrast ratio down to 10-9. The planet is partially linearly polarized. The telescope is simulated with two lenses, and seeing can be included with a rotating glass plate covered with hairspray. In this paper we present the scientific requirements and the simulator design.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
S. V. Jeffers, N. Miesen, M. Rodenhuis, and C. U. Keller "Design of a laboratory simulator to test exoplanet imaging polarimetry", Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70147B (9 July 2008);

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