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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 7 — Mar. 31, 2008
  • pp: 4537–4546

Computing extinction maps of star nulling interferometers

François Hénault  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 7, pp. 4537-4546 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.16.004537


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Abstract

Herein is discussed the performance of spaceborne nulling interferometers searching for extra-solar planets, in terms of their extinction maps projected on-sky. In particular, it is shown that the designs of Spatial Filtering (SF) and Achromatic Phase Shifter (APS) subsystems, both required to achieve planet detection and characterization, can sensibly affect the nulling maps produced by a simple Bracewell interferometer. Analytical relationships involving cross correlation products are provided and numerical simulations are performed, demonstrating marked differences in the aspect of extinction maps and the values of attained fringes contrasts. It is concluded that depending on their basic principles and designs, FS and APS will result in variable capacities for serendipitous discoveries of planets orbiting around their parent star. The mathematical relationships presented in this paper are assumed to be general, i.e. they should apply to other types of multi-apertures nulling interferometers.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(070.6110) Fourier optics and signal processing : Spatial filtering
(110.5100) Imaging systems : Phased-array imaging systems
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Fourier optics and signal processing

History
Original Manuscript: September 19, 2007
Revised Manuscript: December 11, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: December 24, 2007
Published: March 18, 2008

Citation
Francois Hénault, "Computing extinction maps of star nulling interferometers," Opt. Express 16, 4537-4546 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-7-4537


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