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Collection of peer-reviewed starshade research to help advance exoplanet imaging by space telescopes

Date Announced: 28 Jun 2021

The collection of 19 open access papers in the SPIE Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, highlights recent research on the starlight-suppression technology that will be used in upcoming space missions
 
Image shows an example of an Inner Disk Subsystem, a key element of furled starshade architecture, deployed (left) and stowed, from “Demonstration of deployment repeatability of key subsystems of a furled starshade architecture.” Arya et al, one of the papers in the JATIS special section focusing on starshade technology. Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Example of an Inner Disk Subsystem, a key element of furled starshade architecture, deployed (left) and stowed, from “Demonstration of deployment repeatability of key subsystems of a furled starshade architecture.” Arya et al, one of the papers in the JATIS special section focusing on starshade technology. Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA - The Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) has published a special section on the latest science, engineering, research, and programmatic advances of starshades, the starlight-suppression technology integral to extra-solar and exoplanet detection.

Section topics range from starshade programs and missions, to various aspects of related technologies, including formation flying, deployment, high-contrast imaging, and performance modeling. Together, the 19 open access articles provide an extensive overview and current status of this exponentially growing field.

"The starshade is a technology that has seen rapid development and wide interest at many institutions," the editors write in their introduction. "Many of the advances in this field are spread over many journals and meetings. As a result they are difficult to collect in a single location in order to get a good view of the state of starshades.... As interest in developing starshade-based missions grows, we hope that this special section will serve as a tutorial, providing enough of a background for potential investigators who are not familiar with starshades to have a current overview of the field in one location."

"NASA's starshade technology development activity," "Antireflection coatings on starshade optical edges for solar glint suppression," "Exoplanet imaging performance envelopes for starshade-based missions," and "Mapping the observable sky for a Remote Occulter working with ground-based telescopes" are just a few of the articles featured in this collection of open access papers.

The special section guest editors - Jonathan W. Arenberg, of Northrop Grumman, Anthony D. Harness, of Princeton University, and Rebecca M. Jensen-Clem, of the University of California, Santa Cruz - are all members of the NASA-chartered Starshade Science and Industry Partnership's Technology and Science Working Group.

JATIS is one of 12 journals published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, on its Digital Library platform.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 258,000 constituents from 184 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2020, SPIE provided over $5 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. www.spie.org

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