19 August 2009 Starlight suppression from the starshade testbed at NGAS
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Abstract
We report on progress at the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS) starshade testbed. The starshade testbed is a 42.8 m, vacuum chamber designed to replicate the Fresnel number of an equivalent full-scale starshade mission, namely the flagship New Worlds Observer (NWO) configuration. Subscale starshades manufactured by the NGAS foundry have shown 10-7 starlight suppression at an equivalent full-mission inner working angle of 85 milliarseconds. In this paper, we present an overview of the experimental set up, scaling relationships to an equivalent full-scale mission, and preliminary results from the testbed. We also discuss potential limitations of the current generation of starshades and improvements for the future.
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Rocco Samuele, Rocco Samuele, Tiffany Glassman, Tiffany Glassman, Adam M. J. Johnson, Adam M. J. Johnson, Rupal Varshneya, Rupal Varshneya, Ann Shipley, Ann Shipley, } "Starlight suppression from the starshade testbed at NGAS", Proc. SPIE 7440, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV, 744004 (19 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824889; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.824889
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