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19 November 2003 Experimental results from the optical planet detector interferometer
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Researches have suggested several techniques (ie.: pupil masking, coronography, nulling interferometry) for high contrast imaging that permit the direct detection and characterization of extrasolar planets. Our team at JPL, in previous papers, has described an instrument that will combine the best of several of these techniques: a single aperture visible nulling corograph. The elegant simplicity of this design enables a powerful planet-imaging instrument at modest cost. The heart of this instrument is the visible light nulling interferometer for producing deep, achromatic nulls over a wide optical band pass, and a coherent array of single mode optical fibers 2 that is key to suppressing the level of scattered light. Both of these key components are currently being developed and have produced intial results. This paper will review, in detail, the design of the nulling interferometer experiment and review the latest experimental results. These results illustrate that we are well on our way to developing the fundamental components necessary for planned mission. Likewise, our results demonstrate that the current nulling levels are already consistent with final requirements.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. Kent Wallace, Mike Shao, Benjamin F. Lane, Bruce M. Levine, F. Loya, Alireza Azizi, Buck Holmes, F. Aguayo, J. Negron, G. Sanchez, and Robert O. Gappinger "Experimental results from the optical planet detector interferometer", Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003);

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