Exoplanet science with a space-based mid-infrared nulling interferometer

Quanz, Sascha P.; Kammerer, Jens; Defrère, Denis; Absil, Olivier; Glauser, Adrian; Kitzmann, Daniel; Mérand, Antoine; Creech-Eakman, Michelle J.; Tuthill, Peter G. (2018). Exoplanet science with a space-based mid-infrared nulling interferometer. In: Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI. Proceedings: Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI: Vol. 10701 (p. 37). Spie Digital Library 10.1117/12.2312051

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One of the long-term goals of exoplanet science is the (atmospheric) characterization of a large sample (>100) of terrestrial planets to assess their potential habitability and overall diversity. Hence, it is crucial to quantitatively evaluate and compare the scientific return of various mission concepts. Here we discuss the exoplanet yield of a space-based mid-infrared (MIR) nulling interferometer. We use Monte-Carlo simulations, based on the observed planet population statistics from the Kepler mission, to quantify the number and properties of detectable exoplanets (incl. potentially habitable planets) and we compare the results to those for a large aperture optical/NIR space telescope. We investigate how changes in the underlying technical assumptions (sensitivity and spatial resolution) impact the results and discuss scientific aspects that influence the choice for the wavelength coverage and spectral resolution. Finally, we discuss the advantages of detecting exoplanets at MIR wavelengths, summarize the current status of some key technologies, and describe what is needed in terms of further technology development to pave the road for a space-based MIR nulling interferometer for exoplanet science.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Kitzmann, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISBN:

9781510619562

Series:

Proceedings: Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging VI

Publisher:

Spie Digital Library

Language:

English

Submitter:

Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2019 11:23

Last Modified:

03 Jun 2019 11:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1117/12.2312051

ArXiv ID:

1807.06088v2

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.126862

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/126862

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