22 July 2016 Advances in starshade technology readiness for an exoplanet characterizing science mission in the 2020's
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Abstract
The discovery of thousands of exoplanets is generating increasing interest in the direct imaging and characterization of these planets. Starshade, an external occulter, could fly in formation between a telescope and distant star, blocking out the light from the star, and enabling us to focus on the light of any orbiting planets. Recent technology developments in coordination with system level design, has added much needed detail to define the technology requirements for a science mission that could launch in the 2020’s. This paper addresses the mechanical architecture, the successful efforts to date, the current state of design for the mechanical system, and upcoming technology efforts.
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David Webb, Brian Hirsch, Case Bradford, John Steeves, Douglas Lisman, Stuart Shaklan, Vinh Bach, Mark Thomson, "Advances in starshade technology readiness for an exoplanet characterizing science mission in the 2020's", Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 99126H (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232587; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232587
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