EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 391, Number 1, August III 2002
Page(s) 379 - 395
Section Instruments, observational techniques and data processing
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020712

A&A 391, 379-395 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020712

A nulling wide field imager for exoplanets detection and general astrophysics

O. Guyon1, 2 and F. Roddier2

1  Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 640 N. A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
2  Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6, 4 Place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France

(Received 19 February 2002 / Accepted 6 May 2002)

We present a solution to obtain a high-resolution image of a wide field with the central source removed by destructive interference. The wide-field image is created by aperture synthesis with a rotating sparse array of telescopes in space. Nulling of the central source is achieved using a phase-mask coronagraph. The full (u,v) plane coverage delivered by the 60 m, six telescope array is particularly well-suited for the detection and characterization of exoplanets in the infrared (DARWIN and Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) missions) as well as for other generic science observations. Detection ( S/N=10) of an Earth-like planet is achieved in 10 hours with a $1~\mu $m bandwidth at $10~\mu $m.

Key words: techniques: interferometric -- instrumentation: high angular resolution

Offprint request: O. Guyon, guyon@ifa.hawaii.edu

© ESO 2002