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Le Duigou J.M.,French National Center for Space Studies | Lozi J.,French National Center for Space Studies | Lozi J.,ONERA | Cassaing F.,ONERA | And 10 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2012

The PERSEE breadboard, developed by a consortium including CNES, IAS, LESIA, OCA, ONERA and TAS since 2005, is a nulling demonstrator that couples an infrared nulling interferometer with a formation flying simulator able to introduce realistic disturbances in the set-up. The general idea is to prove that an adequate optical design can considerably relax the constraints applying at the spacecrafts level of a future interferometric space mission like Darwin/TPF or one of its precursors. The breadboard is now fully operational and the measurements sequences are managed from a remote control room using automatic procedures. A set of excellent results were obtained in 2011. The measured polychromatic nulling depth with non polarized light is 8.8 10 -6 stabilized at 9 10-8 in the 1.65-2.45 μm spectral band (37 % bandwidth) during 100 s. This result was extended to a 7h duration thanks to an automatic calibration process. The various contributors are identified and the nulling budget is now well mastered. We also proved that harmonic disturbances in the 1-100 Hz up to several ten's of nm rms can be very efficiently corrected by a Linear Quadratic Control (LQG) if a sufficient flux is available. These results are important contributions to the feasibility of a future space based nulling interferometer. © 2012 SPIE. Source

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