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Paper: Nulling Interferometry for the DARWIN Mission - Laboratory Demonstration Experiment
Volume: 194, Working on the Fringe: Optical and IR Interferometry from Ground and Space
Page: 443
Authors: Ollivier, M.; Léger, A.; Anceau. P.; Sekulic, C.; Brunaud, J.; Artzner, G.; Mariotti, J.-M.; Michel, G.; Coudé Du Foresto, V.; Mennesson, B.; Bouchareine, P.; Lépine, T.; Malbet, F.
Abstract: The present projects of space interferometers dedicated to the detection and analysis of extrasolar planets (DARWIN/IRSI in Europe, TPF in the United States) are based on the nulling interferometry concept (interferometrical coronography). This concept has been proposed by Bracewell in 1979 but has never been demonstrated, with high values of rejection, in the thermal infrared range where planet detection should be performed (6-18 microns). We have thus built a two-beam laboratory interferometer to validate this concept in a monochromatic case (CO2 laser). We present the principle of the experimental setup, its realisation, its sub-systems and their servo-control. We present also the first results we got with this interferometer.
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