13 December 2016 Suppression of astronomical sources using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope and starshades with flight-like optics
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Abstract
The external starshade is a method for the direct detection and spectral characterization of terrestrial planets around other stars, a key goal identified in ASTRO2010. Tests of starshades have been and continue to be conducted in the lab and in the field using non-collimated light sources. We extend the current approach to performing night-time observations of astronomical objects using small-scale (10-30cm) starshades and the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This configuration allows us to make measurements of stars with a Fresnel number close to those expected in proposed full-scale space configurations. We present the results of our engineering runs conducted in 2015.
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Megan C. Novicki, Steven Warwick, Daniel K. Smith, Michael C. Richards, Anthony Harness, "Suppression of astronomical sources using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope and starshades with flight-like optics", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 990426 (13 December 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233628; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233628
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