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Title: Mid-IR interferometric nulling for TPF
Authors: Wallace, Kent James
Babtiwale, Vivek
Bartos, Randy
Brown, Ken
Gappinger, Robert
Loya, Frank
MacDonald, Dan
Martin, Stefan
Negron, John
Truong, Tuan
Vasisht, Gautam
Keywords: nulling
planet detection
Issue Date: 21-Jun-2004
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004.
Citation: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentiation 2004, Glasgow, Scotland, June 21-25, 2004.
Abstract: By the middle of 2006, the Interferometry Technology development program for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) Mission has the goal of demonstrating deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband Mid-IR thermal radiation under conditions that are traceable to the expected on-orbit conditions. Specifically, the task is to demonstrate null levels of 10 to the negative 6 power, with a 50% BW centered at 10 um, with null stabilities of 10 to the negative 7 power all at cryogenic temperatures for observational periods of a couple of hours. The Achromatic Nulling activity at JPL addresses this concern in two testbeds: the warm nulling testbed and the cryonulling testbed. The warm nulling testbed will demonstrate the physics of nulling broadband thermal sources in an environment that is conducive to efficient research. We’ll explore nulling techniques, optical-mechanical alignment methods, motion control, and path-length metrology for a single beam interferometer, as well as preliminary planet detection techniques. Ultimate nulling capabilities under conditions that are more flight-like will be demonstrated in cryogenic nulling testbed. Knowledge gained from operation at room temperature will be applied to the cryongenic experiment where we face the additional challenges of extreme temperatures, cryongenic actuators, component survivability and fluxes that are within an order of magnitude of expected flux levels on orbit. Concurrently, we will develop a low flux mid-IR camera that will allow us to measure the nulls at these faint photon fluxes. This talk will review this development activity and will include recent nulling experimental results and plans for future work.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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