26 September 2013 First experimental results of very high accuracy centroiding measurements for the neat astrometric mission
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Abstract

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 × 10-6 pixel.

Current state-of-the-art methods for centroid estimation have reached a precision of about 2 × 10-5 pixel at two times Nyquist sampling, this was shown at the JPL by the VESTA experiment.1 A metrology system was used to calibrate intra and inter pixel quantum efficiency variations in order to correct pixelation errors.

The European part of the NEAT consortium is building a testbed in vacuum in order to achieve 5 × 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 present the metrology and the pseudo stellar sources sub-systems, we present a performance model and an error budget of the experiment and finally we describe the present status of the demonstration.

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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, E. Stadler, E. Stadler, S. Lafrasse, S. Lafrasse, A. Delboulbé, A. Delboulbé, E. Behar, E. Behar, M. Saint-Pe, M. Saint-Pe, J. Dupont, J. Dupont, S. Potin, S. Potin, C. Cara, C. Cara, M. Donati, M. Donati, E. Doumayrou, E. Doumayrou, P. O. Lagage, P. O. Lagage, A. Léger, A. Léger, J. M. LeDuigou, J. M. LeDuigou, M. Shao, M. Shao, R. Goullioud, R. Goullioud, } "First experimental results of very high accuracy centroiding measurements for the neat astrometric mission", Proc. SPIE 8864, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VI, 88641C (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2025004; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2025004
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