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See detailSPHERE+: Imaging young Jupiters down to the snowline
Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Mouillet, D. et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating ... [more ▼]

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating modes, primarily in the field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems, focusing on exoplanets as point sources and circumstellar disks as extended objects. The achievements obtained thus far with SPHERE (~200 refereed publications) in different areas (exoplanets, disks, solar system, stellar physics...) have motivated a large consortium to propose an even more ambitious set of science cases, and its corresponding technical implementation in the form of an upgrade. The SPHERE+ project capitalizes on the expertise and lessons learned from SPHERE to push high contrast imaging performance to its limits on the VLT 8m-telescope. The scientific program of SPHERE+ described in this document will open a new and compelling scientific window for the upcoming decade in strong synergy with ground-based facilities (VLT/I, ELT, ALMA, and SKA) and space missions (Gaia, JWST, PLATO and WFIRST). While SPHERE has sampled the outer parts of planetary systems beyond a few tens of AU, SPHERE+ will dig into the inner regions around stars to reveal and characterize by mean of spectroscopy the giant planet population down to the snow line. Building on SPHERE's scientific heritage and resounding success, SPHERE+ will be a dedicated survey instrument which will strengthen the leadership of ESO and the European community in the very competitive field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems. With enhanced capabilities, it will enable an even broader diversity of science cases including the study of the solar system, the birth and death of stars and the exploration of the inner regions of active galactic nuclei. [less ▲]

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See detailRewritable VPHGs based on photochromic materials
Bianco, A.; Toso, G.; Dassa, G. et al

in Attad-Ettedqui, A.; Lemke, D. (Eds.) Advanced Optical and Mechanical Technologies in Telescopes and Instrumentation (2008, June)

Volume phase holographic gratings (VPHGs) are becoming an interesting alternative to the ruled gratings in modern astronomical instrumentation. Photochromic materials with thermal stability are good ... [more ▼]

Volume phase holographic gratings (VPHGs) are becoming an interesting alternative to the ruled gratings in modern astronomical instrumentation. Photochromic materials with thermal stability are good candidates for the development of holographic optical elements and in particular for VPHGs. VPHGs based on photochromic materials can be written and erased many times without the degradation of the material; moreover the material does not need any developing process after the exposure, making the writing process very simple. We have already studied photochromic materials for this aim in the framework of the JRA6 (Opticon Project, FP6) and we found that large modulations of the refractive index can be achieved using diarylethene polymers. Going from the materials characterization to technology, substrates with larger thickness and good optical properties are required. Herein we present the development of new technique to tailor the thickness of the photochromic films in two ranges: 5 - 30 micron and 700 - 1000 micron. The former are suitable for the development of broadband VPHGs, whereas the latter are suitable for narrow band tunable filters application. Details on the optical properties of the films are reported. Finally, a holographic set-up based on an Ar+ laser has been optimized in order to write the gratings. [less ▲]

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