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

© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Crouzier, F. Malbet, O. Preis, F. Henault, P. Kern, G. Martin, P. Feautrier, E. Stadler, S. Lafrasse, A. Delboulbé, E. Behar, M. Saint-Pe, J. Dupont, S. Potin, C. Cara, M. Donati, E. Doumayrou, P. O. Lagage, A. Léger, J. M. LeDuigou, M. Shao, and 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);


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