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Réseaux sublambda pour l'imagerie et la caractérisation de systèmes planétaires extrasolaires

Abstract : At the eleventh anniversary of the discovery of the first extrasolar planet around a solar-type star, at a time where about 200 planets have been discovered outside our own system, daunting questions about their formation, their evolution, and for a few of them, their ability of sustaining life, are more then ever posed. These interrogations about our origins have triggered the emergence of new technological concepts and a strong will for pushing existing technologies to their limit, with the purpose of tackling the fantastic implied observational challenges. ELTs, kilometric space-borne or ground-based interferometers, next-generation instrumentation: direct imaging of extrasolar planetary systems and their characterization is definitely one of the most demanding observational topics because of the huge contrast together with the small angular separation between stars and their environments.
This dissertation is devoted to the study of a class of micro-components based on the subwavelength grating technology. We demonstrate the utility of these integrated nano-engineered meta-materials in the framework of high dynamic range imaging. Subwavelength gratings indeed provide new and original solutions to the very demanding constraints induced by the ambitious scientific goals of high contrast astrophysics. After showing the practical utility of modern coronagraphic techniques in actual observations of young forming extrasolar planetary systems, we present diverse solutions for improving the existing coronagraph detection capabilities as well as totally new integrated ones that shall outperform the traditional systems within next-generation instruments. Then, still using the optical flexibility of subwavelength gratings, we propose a new concept of achromatic phase shifter for nulling interferometry to be manufactured and tested in the context of the R&D activities paving the way towards ambitious space-borne interferometers dedicated to Earth-like planet detection and characterization.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 5:05:29 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00147380, version 1

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Dimitri Mawet. Réseaux sublambda pour l'imagerie et la caractérisation de systèmes planétaires extrasolaires. Astrophysique [astro-ph]. Université de Liège, 2006. Français. ⟨tel-00147380⟩

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