AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 117 SIM
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[117.09] White Light Interferometry Challenges for the SIM PlanetQuest Mission

M. Milman, C. Zhai, M. Regehr (Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology)

SIM PlanetQuest uses three Michelson interferometers to perform narrow-angle and global wide-angle astrometry to unprecedented accuracies of approximately 1uas and 4uas, respectively. A key technology development for achieving these accuracies is the capability of performing precision white light interferometry to an accuracy of a few tens of picometers. Fringe estimation on relatively broadband signals to this precision is subject to a number of systematic error sources that make this a very challenging problem. Included among these are the calibration of the source, the calibration of the instrument, mitigating for vibrations in the optical train as fringe estimates are being produced, and accounting for the dispersion in the system due to the astrometric beam combiner and other transmissive optics, to name a few. This paper will present the strategies and algorithms that have been developed to overcome these challenges. Furthermore, validation of these methods will be presented through both numerical simulation and implementation on our white light testbed.

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