OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 51, Iss. 17 — Jun. 10, 2012
  • pp: 3907–3921

High performance testbed for four-beam infrared interferometric nulling and exoplanet detection

Stefan Martin, Andrew Booth, Kurt Liewer, Nasrat Raouf, Frank Loya, and Hong Tang  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 17, pp. 3907-3921 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (2203 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Technology development for a space-based infrared nulling interferometer capable of earthlike exoplanet detection and characterization started in earnest in the last 10 years. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the planet detection testbed was developed to demonstrate the principal components of the beam combiner train for a high performance four-beam nulling interferometer. Early in the development of the testbed, the importance of “instability noise” for nulling interferometer sensitivity was recognized, and the four-beam testbed would produce this noise, allowing investigation of methods for mitigating this noise source. The testbed contains the required features of a four-beam combiner for a space interferometer and performs at a level matching that needed for the space mission. This paper describes in detail the design, functions, and controls of the testbed.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.6085) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Space instrumentation

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: January 5, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: March 1, 2012
Published: June 8, 2012

Stefan Martin, Andrew Booth, Kurt Liewer, Nasrat Raouf, Frank Loya, and Hong Tang, "High performance testbed for four-beam infrared interferometric nulling and exoplanet detection," Appl. Opt. 51, 3907-3921 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. P. R. Lawson, S. C. Unwin, and C. A. Beichman, “Precursor science for the Terrestrial Planet Finder,” JPL Publication 04-014 (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2005), http://hdl.handle.net/2014/37449 .
  2. L. Kaltenegger and M. Fridlund, “The Darwin mission: search for extra-solar planets,” Adv. Space Res. 36, 1114–1122 (2005). [CrossRef]
  3. S. R. Martin, A. J. Booth, and F. Loya, “Demonstration of the exoplanet detection process using four-beam nulling interferometry,” in Aerospace Conference 2009 (IEEE, 2009), pp. 1–9.
  4. O. P. Lay, “Removing instability noise in nulling interferometers,” Proc. SPIE 6268, 62681A (2006).
  5. S. Martin, “The Flight instrument design for the terrestrial planet finder interferometer, techniques and instrumentation for detection of exoplanets II,” Proc. SPIE 5905, 590503 (2005).
  6. C. S. Cockell, A. Leger, M. Fridlund, T. Herbst, L. Kaltenegger, O. Absil, C. Beichman, W. Benz, M. Blanc, A. Brack, A. Chelli, L. Colangeli, H. Cottin, V. C. d. Foresto, W. Danchi, D. Defrere, J.-W. d. Herder, C. Eiroa, J. Greaves, T. Henning, K. Johnston, H. Jones, L. Labadie, H. Lammer, R. Launhardt, P. Lawson, O. P. Lay, J.-M. LeDuigou, R. Liseau, F. Malbet, S. R. Martin, D. Mawet, D. Mourard, C. Moutou, L. Mugnier, F. Paresce, A. Quirrenbach, Y. Rabbia, J. A. Raven, H. J. A. Rottgering, D. Rouan, N. Santos, F. Selsis, E. Serabyn, H. Shibai, M. Tamura, E. Thiebaut, F. W. White, and J. Glenn, “Darwin—a mission to detect, and search for life on, extrasolar planets,” Astrobiology 9, 1–22 (2009). [CrossRef]
  7. S. Martin, A. Ksendzov, O. Lay, R. D. Peters, and D. P. Scharf, “TPF-Interferometer: a decade of development in exoplanet detection technology,” Proc. SPIE 8151, 81510D (2011). [CrossRef]
  8. A. J. Booth, S. R. Martin, and F. Loya, “Exoplanet exploration program planet detection testbed: latest results of planet light detection in the presence of starlight,” Proc. SPIE 7013, 701320 (2008).
  9. M. M. Colavita, G. Serabyn, P. L. Wizinowich, and R. L. Akeson, “Nulling at the keck interferometer,” Proc. SPIE 6268, 626803 (2006).
  10. O. P. Lay, S. R. Martin, and S. L. Hunyadi, “Planet-finding performance of the TPF-I Emma architecture,” Proc. SPIE 6693, 66930A (2007). [CrossRef]
  11. S. R. Martin and A. J. Booth, “Strong starlight suppression sufficient to enable direct detection of exoplanets in the habitable zone,” Astron. Astrophys. 511, L1 (2010). [CrossRef]
  12. S. R. Martin and A. J. Booth, “Demonstration of exoplanet detection using an infrared telescope array,” Astron. Astrophys. 520, A96 (2010). [CrossRef]
  13. C. Beichman, N. Woolf, and C. Lindensmith, The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF): A NASA Origins Program to Search for Habitable Planets (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1999).
  14. S. R. Martin, E. Serabyn, and G. Hardy, “Deep nulling of laser light in a rotational shearing interferometer,” Proc. SPIE 4838, 656–667 (2003). [CrossRef]
  15. E. Serabyn and M. M. Colavita, “Fully symmetric nulling beam combiners,” Appl. Opt. 40, 1668–1671 (2001). [CrossRef]
  16. R. O. Gappinger, R. T. Diaz, A. Ksendzov, P. R. Lawson, O. P. Lay, K. M. Liewer, F. M. Loya, S. R. Martin, E. Serabyn, and J. K. Wallace, “Experimental evaluation of achromatic phase shifters for mid-infrared starlight suppression,” Appl. Opt. 48, 868–880 (2009). [CrossRef]
  17. R. M. Morgan, J. H. Burge, and N. J. Woolf, “Nulling interferometric beam combiner utilizing dielectric plates: experimental results in the visible broadband,” Proc. SPIE 4006, 340–348 (2000). [CrossRef]
  18. W. Traub, “Beam combination and fringe measurement,” in Principles of Long Baseline Interferometry, P. R. Lawson, ed. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2000), pp 31–58.
  19. R. D. Peters, O. P. Lay, and M. Jeganathan, “Broadband phase and intensity compensation with a deformable mirror for an interferometric nuller,” Appl. Opt. 47, 3920–3926 (2008). [CrossRef]
  20. S. R. Martin and P. Szwaykowski, “Optical beam-shear sensors,” NASA Tech. Briefs, NPO-41746.
  21. B. Lurie and P. Enright, Classical Feedback Control: with MATLAB and Simulink, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2011).
  22. E. Serabyn and F. Loya, “Concept for null tracking,” discussion at Palomar Observatory (2009).
  23. S. Martin, E. Serabyn, K. Liewer, F. Loya, B. Mennesson, C. Hanot, and D. Mawet, “The development and applications of a ground-based fiber nulling coronagraph,” Proc. SPIE 7013, 70131Y (2008).
  24. S. R. Martin, A. J. Booth, O. P. Lay, and P. R. Lawson, Exoplanet Interferometry Technology Milestone 4 Whitepaper: Planet Detection Demonstration (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2008).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited