EXCEDE technology development III: First vacuum tests

Ruslan Belikov, Julien Lozi, Eugene Pluzhnik, Troy T. Hix, Eduardo Bendek, Sandrine J. Thomas, Dana H. Lynch, Roger Mihara, J. Wes Irwin, Alan L. Duncan, Thomas P. Greene, Olivier Guyon, Richard L. Kendrick, Eric H. Smith, Fred C. Witteborn, Glenn Schneider

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


This paper is the third in the series on the technology development for the EXCEDE (EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer) mission concept, which in 2011 was selected by NASA's Explorer program for technology development (Category III). EXCEDE is a 0.7m space telescope concept designed to achieve raw contrasts of 1e6 at an inner working angle of 1.2 l/D and 1e7 at 2 l/D and beyond. This will allow it to directly detect and spatially resolve low surface brightness circumstellar debris disks as well as image giant planets as close as in the habitable zones of their host stars. In addition to doing fundamental science on debris disks, EXCEDE will also serve as a technological and scientific precursor for any future exo-Earth imaging mission. EXCEDE uses a Starlight Suppression System (SSS) based on the PIAA coronagraph, enabling aggressive performance. Previously, we reported on the achievement of our first milestone (demonstration of EXCEDE IWA and contrast in monochromatic light) in air. In this presentation, we report on our continuing progress of developing the SSS for EXCEDE, and in particular (a) the reconfiguration of our system into a more flight-like layout, with an upstream deformable mirror and an inverse PIAA system, and (b) testing this system in a vacuum chamber, including IWA, contrast, and stability performance. Even though this technology development is primarily targeted towards EXCEDE, it is also germane to any exoplanet direct imaging space-based telescopes because of the many challenges common to different coronagraph architectures and mission requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsJacobus M. Oschmann, Mark Clampin, Howard A. MacEwen, Giovanni G. Fazio
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496119
StatePublished - 2014
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave


  • Coronagraph
  • Debris disk
  • Direct imaging
  • Exoplanets
  • Explorer
  • High contrast
  • IWA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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