Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1306.0179 (Olivier Guyon et al.)

Optimal beam combiner design for nulling interferometers    [PDF]

Olivier Guyon, Bertrand Mennesson, Eugene Serabyn, Stefan Martin
A scheme to optimally design a beam combiner is discussed for any pre-determined fixed geometry nulling interferometer aimed at detection and characterization of exoplanets with multiple telescopes or a single telescope (aperture masking). We show that considerably higher order nulls can be achieved with 1-D interferometer geometries than possible with 2-D geometries with the same number of apertures. Any 1-D interferometer with N apertures can achieve a 2(N-1)-order null, while the order of the deepest null for a random 2-D aperture geometry interferometer is the order of the N-th term in the Taylor expansion of e^{i(x^2+y^2)} around x=0, y=0 (2nd order null for N=2,3; 4th order null for N=4,5,6). We also show that an optimal beam combiner for nulling interferometry relies only 0 or Pi phase shifts. Examples of nulling interferometer designs are shown to illustrate these findings.
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