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Session 80 - Education, Green Flashes and Future Missions.
Oral session, Thursday, June 11

[80.04] A Telescope Design for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Planets

P. Robb, L. Bandermann, B. Haisch, K. Strong (Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr.)

We report on the design of a 2.0-meter orbiting telescope capable of detection by direct imaging of Jupiter-class planets around solar-type stars at a distance of up to 10 parsecs. The telescope would operate in the visible spectrum, using reflected light to maximize angular resolution. An off-axis Gregorian telescope with field and Lyot stops has been designed using low-scatter mirror surfaces and optical apodization to control diffraction. Calculations indicate that the system will reliably detect Jupiter- and Saturn-class planets around solar-type stars at angular separations as small as 0.5 arcsec. Such a single-telescope system would fit within the constraints of a Discovery or MIDEX NASA program, and would serve as a pathfinder for large space-based interferometric systems.

Program listing for Thursday