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19 August 2009 Starlight suppression from the starshade testbed at NGAS
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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.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rocco Samuele, Tiffany Glassman, Adam M. J. Johnson, Rupal Varshneya, and 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);

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