AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 3 Space Missions: Planet Finding, Astrobiology and Others
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 3] | [Next]

[3.09] System Concept Design for the New Worlds Observer

W. Simmons, N.J. Kasdin, R.J. Vanderbei (Princeton University), W. Cash (University of Colorado-Boulder)

The New Worlds Observer (NWO) is a proposed space mission to provide high resolution spectroscopy from the far UV to the near IR of extra-solar terrestrial sized planets. The design of NWO is based on the concept of a large space-based pinhole camera made up of two spacecraft flying in formation. The first spacecraft is a large, thin occulting shield (perhaps 100’s of meters in diameter) with a ``pinhole'' aperture about 10m in diameter. The second spacecraft is a conventional-quality space telescope (possibly with a 10m primary mirror) which “flies” in the focal plane of the camera to observe the image of the extra-solar planets. In this paper we describe the design of the two spacecraft system. In particular, the pinhole design utilizes the shaped pupil coronagraph pioneered for the Terrestrial Planet Finder. We describe the analysis and design of shaped ``pinholes'' to achieve the high contrast necessary for planet finding.

[Previous] | [Session 3] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.