7 March 2014 MEMS and the direct detection of exoplanets
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Proceedings Volume 8978, MEMS Adaptive Optics VIII; 897806 (2014) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044134
Event: SPIE MOEMS-MEMS, 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
Abstract
Deformable mirrors, and particularly MEMS, are crucial components for the direct imaging of exoplanets for both ground-based and space-based instruments. Without deformable mirrors, coronagraphs are incapable of reaching contrasts required to image Jupiter-like planets. The system performance is limited by image quality degradation resulting from wavefront error introduced from multiple effects including: atmospheric turbulence, static aberrations in the system, non-common-path aberrations, all of which vary with time. Correcting for these effects requires a deformable mirror with fast response and numerous actuators having moderate stroke. Not only do MEMS devices fulfill this requirement but their compactness permits their application in numerous space- and ground-based instruments, which are often volume- and mass-limited. In this paper, I will briefly explain how coronagraphs work and their requirements. I then will discuss the Extreme Adaptive Optics needed to compensate for the introduced wavefront error and how MEMS devices are a good choice to achieve the performance needed to produce the contrasts necessary to detect exoplanets. As examples, I will discuss a facility instrument for the Gemini Observatory, called the Gemini Planet Imager, that will detect Jupiter-like planets and present recent results from the NASA Ames Coronagraph Experiment laboratory, in the context of a proposed space- based mission called EXCEDE. EXCEDE is planned to focus on protoplanetary disks.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sandrine J. Thomas, Bruce Macintosh, Ruslan Belikov, "MEMS and the direct detection of exoplanets", Proc. SPIE 8978, MEMS Adaptive Optics VIII, 897806 (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044134; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044134
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