Reference : Prospects for Nulling Interferometry from Antarctica
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Space science, astronomy & astrophysics
Prospects for Nulling Interferometry from Antarctica
Coudé Du Foresto, V. [LESIA-Obs.Paris]
Absil, Olivier mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Astroph. extragalactique et observations spatiales (AEOS) >]
Barillot, M. [Alcatel Alenia Space]
Swain, M. [JPL]
In the Spirit of Bernard Lyot: The Direct Detection of Planets and Circumstellar Disks in the 21st Century
4-8 June 2007
University of California
[en] The high Antarctic plateau is a very unique environment whose main characteristics make it a premier site for high angular resolution, high dynamic range observations at infrared wavelengths. This is due to a combination of cold temperatures (low emissivity), dry air (infrared transparency), and a night time atmospheric turbulence which is concentrated in the first ~30m near the ground (which results in a large isoplanatic angle). Above that turbulent layer (a location that can be reached either by support structures or tethered balloons), the free air seeing is both exceptionally benign and slow. There, simulations show that a small dedicated interferometer (two 1m-class telescopes) equipped with a nuller instrument performs better than the same instrument behind 8m-class telescopes on a temperate site. It can characterize the distribution of dust emission around nearby main sequence stars, a necessary precursor science for Darwin and TPF-I. The nature of the site, intermediate between ground and space both in potential and technical challenge, adds particular relevance to the demonstration of nulling for a space mission.

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