Laser guide star for large segmented-Aperture space telescopes, part i: Implications for terrestrial exoplanet detection and observatory stability

E. S. Douglas, J. R. Males, J. Clark, O. Guyon, J. Lumbres, W. Marlow, K. L. Cahoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Precision wavefront control on future segmented-Aperture space telescopes presents significant challenges, particularly in the context of high-contrast exoplanet direct imaging. We present a new wavefront control architecture that translates the ground-based artificial guide star concept to space with a laser source aboard a second spacecraft, formation flying within the telescope field-of-view. We describe the motivating problem of mirror segment motion and develop wavefront sensing requirements as a function of guide star magnitude and segment motion power spectrum. Several sample cases with different values for transmitter power, pointing jitter, and wavelength are presented to illustrate the advantages and challenges of having a non-stellar-magnitude noise limited wavefront sensor for space telescopes. These notional designs allow increased control authority, potentially relaxing spacecraft stability requirements by two orders of magnitude, and increasing terrestrial exoplanet discovery space by allowing high-contrast observations of stars of arbitrary brightness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Nov 13 2018

Keywords

  • coronagraphy
  • Earthlike exoplanets
  • segmented aperture space telescopes
  • space laser guide stars
  • space telescopes
  • wavefront control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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