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26 September 2013 Sphere: complete laboratory performance and prediction for on-sky first light
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Abstract
Direct imaging of exoplanet is one of the most exciting field of planetology today. The light coming from exoplanet orbiting their host star witnesses for the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and the potential biomarkers for life. However, the faint flux to be imaged, very close to the huge flux of the parent star, makes this kind of observation extremely difficult to perform from the ground. The direct imaging instruments (SPHERE [1], GPI [2]) are nowaday reaching lab maturity. Such instrument imply the coordination of XAO for atmospherical turbulence real-time correction, coronagraphy for star light extinction, IR Dual band camera, IFS, and visible polarimetry. The imaging modes include single and double difference (spectral and angular). The SPHERE project is now at the end of AIT phase. This paper presents the very last results obtained in laboratory, with realistic working conditions. These AIT results allows one to predict on-sky performance, that should come within the next weeks after re-installation at Very Large Telescope at Paranal.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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