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A space Fresnel Imager for ultra-violet astrophysics: example on accretion disks


Raksasataya, Truswin and Gómez de Castro, Ana Inés and Koechlin, Laurent and Rivet, Jean-Pierre (2011) A space Fresnel Imager for ultra-violet astrophysics: example on accretion disks. Experimental astronomy, 30 . pp. 183-194. ISSN 0922-6435

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The Fresnel Diffractive Imager concept is proposed for space borne astronomical imaging at Ultra-Violet wavelengths, using diffractive focalization. The high angular resolution and high dynamic range provided by this new concept makes it an ideal tool to resolve circumstellar structures such as disks or jets around bright sources, among them, pre-main sequence stars and young planetary disks. The study presented in this paper addresses the following configuration of Fresnel diffractive imager: a diffractive array 4 m large, with 696 Fresnel zones operating in the ultra-violet domain. The diffractive arrays are opaque foils punched with a large number of void subapertures with carefully designed shapes and positions. In the proposed space missions, these punched foils would be deployed in space. Depending on the size of the array and on the working spectral band, the focal length of such imagers will range from a few kilometers to a few tens of kilometers. Thus, such space mission requires a formation flying configuration for two satellites around the L2 Sun-Earth Lagragian point. In this article, we investigate numerically the potential of Fresnel arrays for imaging circumstellar dust environments. These simulations are based upon simple protostellar disk models, and on the computed optical characteristics of the instrument. The results show that protoplanetary disks at distances up to a few thousand parsecs can be successfully studied with a 4 m aperture Fresnel imager in the UV.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Interferometric imager; models; Circumstellar discs; Dust; High angular redulution; High dynamic range; Fresnel imager
Subjects:Sciences > Mathematics > Astronomy
ID Code:15885

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