ACCESS - A Concept Study for the Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of Exoplanetary Systems

John Trauger, Karl Stapelfeldt, Wesley Traub, John Krist, Dwight Moody, Dimitri Mawet, Eugene Serabyn, Curt Henry, Paul Brugarolas, James Alexander, Robert Gappinger, Olivia Dawson, Virgil Mireles, Peggy Park, Laurent Pueyo, Stuart Shaklan, Olivier Guyon, Jeremy Kasdin, Robert Vanderbei, David SpergelRuslan Belikov, Geoff Marcy, Robert A. Brown, Jean Schneider, Bruce Woodgate, Robert Egerman, Gary Matthews, Jason Elias, Yves Conturie, Phillip Vallone, Perry Voyer, Ronald Polidan, Chuck Lillie, Constance Spittler, David Lee, Reem Hejal, Allen Bronowicki, Nick Saldivar, Mark Ealey, Thomas Price

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

30 Scopus citations


ACCESS is one of four medium-class mission concepts selected for study in 2008-9 by NASA's Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concepts Study program. ACCESS evaluates a space observatory designed for extreme high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanetary systems. An actively-corrected coronagraph is used to suppress the glare of diffracted and scattered starlight to contrast levels required for exoplanet imaging. The ACCESS study considered the relative merits and readiness of four major coronagraph types, and modeled their performance with a NASA medium-class space telescope. The ACCESS study asks: What is the most capable medium-class coronagraphic mission that is possible with telescope, instrument, and spacecraft technologies available today? Using demonstrated high-TRL technologies, the ACCESS science program surveys the nearest 120+ AFGK stars for exoplanet systems, and surveys the majority of those for exozodiacal dust to the level of 1 zodi at 3 AU. Coronagraph technology developments in the coming year are expected to further enhance the science reach of the ACCESS mission concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
StatePublished - 2010
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

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


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Active optics
  • Coronagraphs
  • Exoplanets
  • Space astronomy


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