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Paper: SIM Lite Instrument Description, Operation, and Performance
Volume: 430, Pathways Towards Habitable Planets
Page: 450
Authors: Goullioud, R.
Abstract: The SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory, a space-borne mission to be located in a solar Earth-trailing orbit, will conduct high precision differential astrometry (Marr, Shao & Goullioud 2008). During the 5-year mission, SIM Lite will search about 60 nearby Sun-like stars for exoplanets of mass down to one Earth mass, in the habitable zone of those stars. In addition, SIM Lite will survey the architecture of planetary systems of about 1000 stars of all ages and types. SIM Lite will also build a 4 micro-arc second astrometric grid and perform global astrometry on a variety of astrophysical objects (Unwin et al. 2008). The instrument consists of two Michelson stellar interferometers and a precision telescope. The science interferometer is composed of two 50 cm collectors separated by a 6 meter baseline. The technology development was completed in 2005 (Laskin 2006). The mission is now ready for full flight implementation.
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