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Design of a laboratory testbed for external occulters at flight Fresnel numbers

Author(s): Kim, Y; Galvin, M; Kasdin, NJ; Vanderbei, Robert J.; Ryu, D; et al

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Abstract: One of the main candidates for creating high-contrast for future Exo-Earth detection is an external occulter or sharshade. A starshade blocks the light from the parent star by flying in formation along the line-of-sight from a space telescope. Because of its large size and scale it is impossible to fully test a starshade system on the ground before launch. Instead, we rely on modeling supported by subscale laboratory tests to verify the models. At Princeton, we are designing and building a subscale testbed to verify the suppression and contrast of a starshade at the same Fresnel number as a flight system, and thus mathematically identical to a realistic space mission. Here we present the mechanical design of the testbed and simulations predicting the ultimate contrast performance. We will also present progress in implementation and preliminary results.
Publication Date: 1-Jan-2015
Citation: Kim, Y, Galvin, M, Kasdin, NJ, Vanderbei, RJ, Ryu, D, Kim, KW, Kim, SW, Sirbu, D. "Design of a laboratory testbed for external occulters at flight Fresnel numbers" Proceedings of SPIE 9605, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII, 2015, doi:10.1117/12.2186349
DOI: doi:10.1117/12.2186349
ISSN: 0277-786X
EISSN: 1996-756X
Type of Material: Conference Article
Series/Report no.: Proceedings of SPIE;960511
Journal/Proceeding Title: Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII
Version: This is the publisher’s version of the article (version of record). All rights reserved to the publisher. Please refer to the publisher's site for terms of use.

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