EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 471, Number 1, August III 2007
Page(s) 355 - 360
Section Astronomical instrumentation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20067005

A&A 471, 355-360 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20067005

Mid-infrared laser light nulling experiment using single-mode conductive waveguides

L. Labadie1, 2, E. Le Coarer2, R. Maurand2, P. Labeye3, P. Kern2, B. Arezki2, and J.-E. Broquin4

1  Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: labadie@mpia.de
2  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
3  Laboratoire d'Électronique et des Technologies de l'Information (LETI), CEA-DRT-LETI, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
4  Institut de Microélectronique, Electromagnétisme et Photonique, 23 rue des Martyrs, BP 257, 38016 Grenoble Cedex 1, France

(Received 22 December 2006 / Accepted 24 April 2007)

Aims.In the context of space interferometry missions devoted to the search for exo-Earths, this paper investigates the capabilities of new single mode conductive waveguides to provide modal filtering in an infrared and monochromatic nulling experiment
Methods.A Michelson laser interferometer with a co-axial beam combination scheme at 10.6 $\mu$m is used. After introducing a $\pi$ phase shift using a translating mirror, dynamic and static measurements of the nulling ratio are performed in the two cases where modal filtering is implemented and suppressed. No additional active control of the wavefront errors is involved.
Results.We achieve on average a statistical nulling ratio of 2.5$\times$10-4 with a 1-$\sigma$ upper limit of 6$\times$10-4, while a best null of 5.6$\times$10-5 is obtained in static mode. At the moment, the impact of external vibrations limits our ability to maintain the null to 10 to 20 s.
Conclusions.A positive effect of SM conductive waveguide on modal filtering has been observed in this study. Further improvement of the null should be possible with proper mechanical isolation of the setup.

Key words: instrumentation: interferometers -- methods: laboratory -- methods: data analysis -- techniques: interometric

© ESO 2007