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21 February 2003 Darwin ground-based European Nulling Interferometer Experiment (GENIE)
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Darwin is one of the most challenging space projects ever considered by the European Space Agency (ESA). Its principal objectives are to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars and to characterize their atmospheres. Darwin is conceived as a space "nulling interferometer" which makes use of on-axis destructive interferences to extinguish the stellar light while keeping the off-axis signal of the orbiting planet. Within the frame of the Darwin program, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) intend to build a ground-based technology demonstrator called GENIE (Ground based European Nulling Interferometry Experiment). Such a ground-based demonstrator built around the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Paranal will test some of the key technologies required for the Darwin Infrared Space Interferometer. It will demonstrate that nulling interferometry can be achieved in a broad mid-IR band as a precursor to the next phase of the Darwin program. The present paper will describe the objectives and the status of the project.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Philippe Gondoin, Olivier Absil, C. V. Malcolm Fridlund, Christian Erd, Roland H. den Hartog, Nicola Rando, Andreas Glindemann, Bertrand Koehler, Rainer Wilhelm, Anders Karlsson, L. Labadie, I. Mann, Anthony J. Peacock, Andrea Richichi, Zoran Sodnik, Massimo Tarenghi, and Sergio Volonte "Darwin ground-based European Nulling Interferometer Experiment (GENIE)", Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003);

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