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Session 70 - Searching for Other Planetary Systems.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[70.13] Array configurations for a Spatial Infrared Interferometer

B. Mennesson (Steward Obs.), J. M. Mariotti (DESPA Obs. de Paris Meudon)

Recent studies show that an Infrared Nulling Interferometer dedicated to the detection and spectroscopy of exoplanetary systems must fulfill 3 main requirements.It must provide a very strong suppression of the starlight, a good spectral coverage (from 6 to 17 microns) with a fixed baseline, and be able to distinguish planets from local dust disc emission without any ambiguity. We present here a solution with 5 1m class telescopes disposed in an elliptical array that meets all these constraints.The telescope array, whose dimensions are 50m * 20m, has been optimized so that the exo-zodiacal emission is strongly extinguished, and very weakly modulated by rotation about the line of sight.The planets signal on the contrary is strongly modulated at many distinctive frequencies.A simple cross correlation method allows to recover a single image of a solar system twin at 10pc distance, in about 30h.The spectroscopy of the planets can then be undertaken with the same baseline and would reveal absorption features of water, ozone and carbone dioxide of an Earthlike planet in periods of weeks to months.A family of different configurations can actually provide close results, and the final arrangement may be chosen according to technical constraints.

Program listing for Wednesday