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3 March 2003 Infrared coronagraph for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission I: Overview and design concept
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NASA wants to launch a Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission in 2014 to detect and characterize Earth-like planets around nearby stars, perform comparative planetology studies, and obtain general astrophysics observations. The detection of a 30th magnitude planet located within 80 milli-arcseconds of a 5th (Visual) magnitude star is an exceptionally challenging objective. Observations in the thermal infrared (7-17 mm) are somewhat easier since the planet is 'only' 15m fainter than the star at these wavelengths, but many severe challenges must still be overcome, including: Designing a spacecraft, a telescope and an IR coronagraph for star-planet separations equal to λ/D;(i) Providing a stable (~30K) thermal environment for the optics and isolating them from vibration sources; (ii)Developing a deployment scheme for a 28-m space telescope that can fit in an existing launch vehicle; (iii) Minimizing telescope mass to enable launch to L2 or a driftway orbit with a single launch vehicle; (iv) Generating a manufacturing plan that will permit TPF to be developed at a reasonable cost and schedule; (v) Identifying the key enabling technologies for TPF. This paper describes the IR Coronagraph we designed during our recent TPF Mission Architecture study in an effort to meet these challenges.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Charles F. Lillie, Charles B. Atkinson, L. Suzanne Casement, Martin R. Flannery, Keith V. Kroening, Stewart L. Moses, and Paul E. Glenn "Infrared coronagraph for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission I: Overview and design concept", Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003);

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