12 September 2012 An experimental testbed for NEAT to demonstrate micro-pixel accuracy
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NEAT is an astrometric mission proposed to ESA with the objectives of detecting Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of nearby solar-type stars. In NEAT, one fundamental aspect is the capability to measure stellar centroids at the precision of 5 x 10-6 pixel. Current state-of-the-art methods for centroid estimation have reached a precision of about 4 x 10-5 pixel at Nyquist sampling. Simulations showed that a precision of 2 μ-pixels can be reached, if intra and inter pixel quantum efficiency variations are calibrated and corrected for by a metrology system. The European part of the NEAT consortium is designing and building a testbed in vacuum in order to achieve 5 x 10-6 pixel precision for the centroid estimation. The goal is to provide a proof of concept for the precision requirement of the NEAT spacecraft. In this paper we give the basic relations and trade-offs that come into play for the design of a centroid testbed and its metrology system. We detail the different conditions necessary to reach the targeted precision, present the characteristics of our current design and describe the present status of the demonstration.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Crouzier, A. Crouzier, F. Malbet, F. Malbet, O. Preis, O. Preis, F. Henault, F. Henault, P. Kern, P. Kern, G. Martin, G. Martin, P. Feautrier, P. Feautrier, C. Cara, C. Cara, P. Lagage, P. Lagage, A. Léger, A. Léger, J.-M. LeDuigou, J.-M. LeDuigou, M. Shao, M. Shao, R. Goullioud, R. Goullioud, } "An experimental testbed for NEAT to demonstrate micro-pixel accuracy", Proc. SPIE 8445, Optical and Infrared Interferometry III, 84451P (12 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926147; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926147

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