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Paper: The NULLTIMATE Testbed: A Progress Report
Volume: 430, Pathways Towards Habitable Planets
Page: 432
Authors: Gabor, P.
Abstract: Nulling interferometry has been suggested as the underlying principle for an instrument which could provide direct detection and spectroscopy of Earth-like exoplanets, including searches for potential biomarkers (Darwin/TPF-I). Several aspects of this method require further research and development. The NULLTIMATE testbed at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France, is a new instrument, built in late 2008. It is designed to test different achromatic phase shifters (focus crossing, field reversal, dielectric plates) at 300 K using various sources ranging from 2 to 10 μm, with special attention to stabilization (optical path difference and beam intensity balance). Its operational parameters (null depth and stability) were tested with a monochromatic laser sources at 2.32 and 3.39 μm and with a supercontinuum source in the K band. This poster presents a progress report on its performance with a focus crossing achromatic phase shifter.
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