Imaging exo-solar planetary systems with Terrestrial Planet Finder
AuthorEatchel, Andrew L.
KeywordsPhysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe concept of building a space based telescope capable of directly imaging extra-solar planetary systems has been in existence for more than a decade. While the basic ideas of how such an instrument might work have already been discussed in the literature, specific details of the design have not been addressed that will enable a telescope of this class to be functionally realized. A straw man configuration of the instrument is examined here for its ability to acquire data of sufficient informational content and quality to produce images and spectra of distant planetary systems and to find what technical problems arise from analyzing the interferograms it delivers. Computer programs that simulate the signals expected to be produced by a structurally connected instrument (SCI) version of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and reconstruct images from those signals will be presented along with programs that extract planetary parameters. An abbreviated radiometric performance analysis will also be provided that will assist astronomers in designing an appropriate mission.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Electrical and Computer Engineering