Optical demonstration of a starshade at flight Fresnel numbers

Yunjong Kim, Anthony Harness, Dan Sirbu, Mengya Hu, Mike Galvin, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Robert J. Vanderbei, Stuart B. Shaklan

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

6 Scopus citations


A starshade is a specially designed opaque screen to suppress starlight and remove the effects of diffraction at the edge. The intensity at the pupil plane in the shadow is dark enough to detect Earth-like exoplanets by using direct imaging. At Princeton, we have designed and built a testbed that allows verification of scaled starshade designs whose suppressed shadow is mathematically identical to that of space starshade. The starshade testbed uses a 77.2 m optical propagation distance to realize the flight Fresnel number of 14.5. Here, we present lab result of a revised sample design operating at a flight Fresnel number. We compare the experimental results with simulations that predict the ultimate contrast performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII
EditorsStuart Shaklan
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612570
StatePublished - 2017
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

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


OtherTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Exoplanets
  • External Occulters
  • High Contrast Imaging
  • Laboratory Scaling
  • Starshade


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