The PICTURE-C exoplanetary imaging balloon mission: second flight results and the transition to a new mission, PICTURE-D

Christopher B. Mendillo, Kuravi Hewawasam, Jason Martel, Thaddeus Potter, Sunip Mukherjee, Timothy A. Cook, Supriya Chakrabarti, Frans Snik, David S. Doelman, Dan Sirbu, Ruslan Belikov, Eduardo Bendek, Karl Stapelfeldt, Schuyler Grace Wolff

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

Abstract

The PICTURE-C balloon mission launched on its second flight from Fort Sumner, NM on September 28, 2022. During this flight, PICTURE-C, which consists of a 60 cm off-axis telescope feeding a vector vortex coronagraph, demonstrated the first high-contrast dark hole from an observatory in a near-space environment. The coronagraph achieved a modest broadband (20%) contrast ratio of 5×10´6, with performance limited by dynamic pointing transients. The low-order wavefront control system achieved optical pointing stabilization of 1 milliarcseconds RMS for intervals of up to 30 seconds between these transients. This paper will summarize the second flight results and present the development path for PICTURE-D, the next generation direct imaging balloon mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI
EditorsGarreth J. Ruane
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510665743
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2023Aug 24 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume12680
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/21/238/24/23

Keywords

  • balloon
  • direct imaging
  • exoplanets
  • fine pointing
  • high-contrast imaging
  • wavefront control

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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