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Paper: Rock Steady: The Challenges of a TPF Coronagraph
Volume: 294, Scientific Frontiers in Research on Extrasolar Planets
Page: 649
Authors: Noecker, C.
Abstract: NASA is investigating visible-light coronagraphs as a possible architecture for its Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission. To reach planets within 0.04--0.1 arcsec of their host stars, the primary mirror span must be roughly 10~meters; but to suppress the scattered starlight to match an earth-like planet, the wavefront must be corrected to better than an angstrom. That's the easy part. What's hard is holding it that way for hours. We will show that the challenging problem of planet finding can be met by a coronagraph. From a description of the design, operation, and the central trades and budgets, we will derive some of the more difficult technical requirements, motivating a separate discussion of technology development efforts (Kilston, in this conference).
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