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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Anthony J. Campillo
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 24 — Dec. 15, 2006
  • pp: 3635–3637

Design of achromatic phase shifters for spaceborne nulling interferometry

François Hénault  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 31, Issue 24, pp. 3635-3637 (2006)

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The designs of various achromatic phase shifters (APSs) envisaged for nulling interferometry and the search for extrasolar planets or systems from space are discussed in this Letter. It is shown that APS designs can sensibly influence the performance achieved by a simple Bracewell interferometer if they introduce a field of view (FoV) reversal and a pupil flip along one interferometer arm. Analytical and numerical simulations are presented, showing severe signal-to-noise ratio loss and a weak capacity for serendipitous discoveries. The use of FoV-reversal APS should therefore be restricted to the characterization of already known extrasolar planets rather than to their detection.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.5080) Diffraction and gratings : Phase shift
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(070.2590) Fourier optics and signal processing : ABCD transforms
(220.2740) Optical design and fabrication : Geometric optical design
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

Original Manuscript: August 10, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: September 24, 2006
Published: November 22, 2006

François Hénault, "Design of achromatic phase shifters for spaceborne nulling interferometry," Opt. Lett. 31, 3635-3637 (2006)

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