Precision astrometry mission for exoplanet detection around binary stars

Eduardo Bendek, Peter Tuthill, Olivier Guyon, Gautam Vasisht, Ruslan Belikov, Kieran Larkin, Charles Beichman, Michael Shao, Eric Mamajek, Dan Sirbu, Laura Coyle

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

5 Scopus citations


We propose an innovative low-cost mission capable of detecting potentially habitable planets around a sample of solartype stars near the sun. The finding of rocky planets in temperate orbits among our immediate stellar neighbors will be a signature discovery. Our mission will deliver relative measurements of stellar position and motion at sub-micro arcsecond precision. These data, in turn, will reveal the presence of orbiting exoplanets. For the case of our primary targets Alpha Centauri A and B, objects below one Earth mass will be accessible when the end-of-mission astrometric precision requirement of 0.4 micro arcsecond is achieved. TOLIMAN will directly reveal the presence of sub-earth mass planets and constrain it orbit and mass This paper describes the optical and mechanical architecture of the mission, and first order instrument design. We also explain the instrument stability requirements imposed by the diffractive pupil post-processing calibration limitations. Our design baseline is a stable two-mirror telescope that images the field directly on CCD camera minimizing the number of reflections and optical components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsGiovanni G. Fazio, Howard A. MacEwen, Makenzie Lystrup
ISBN (Print)9781510619494
StatePublished - 2018
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

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


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Astrometry
  • Exoplanet detection
  • Exoplanet masses
  • Space mission

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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