References of "Coudé Du Foresto, Vincent"
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See detailA near-infrared interferometric survey of debris disc stars. III. First statistics based on 42 stars observed with CHARA/FLUOR
Absil, Olivier ULg; Defrère, Denis; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

Context. Dust is expected to be ubiquitous in extrasolar planetary systems due to the dynamical activity of minor bodies. Inner dust populations are, however, still poorly known due to the high contrast ... [more ▼]

Context. Dust is expected to be ubiquitous in extrasolar planetary systems due to the dynamical activity of minor bodies. Inner dust populations are, however, still poorly known due to the high contrast and small angular separation with respect to their host star. Yet, a proper characterisation of exozodiacal dust is mandatory for the design of future Earth-like planet imaging missions. Aims. We aim to determine the level of near-infrared exozodiacal dust emission around a sample of 42 nearby main sequence stars with spectral types ranging from A to K, and to investigate its correlation with various stellar parameters and with the presence of cold dust belts. Methods. We use high-precision K-band visibilities obtained with the FLUOR interferometer on the shortest baseline of the CHARA array. The calibrated visibilities are compared with the expected visibility of the stellar photosphere to assess the presence of an additional, fully resolved circumstellar emission source. Results. Near-infrared circumstellar emission amounting to about 1% of the stellar flux is detected around 13 of our 42 target stars. Follow-up observations showed that one of them (eps Cep) is associated with a stellar companion, while another one was detected around what turned out to be a giant star (kap CrB). The remaining 11 excesses found around single main sequence stars are most probably due to the presence of hot circumstellar dust, yielding an overall occurrence rate of 28+8-6% for our (biased) sample. We show that the occurrence rate of bright exozodiacal discs correlates with spectral type, K-band excesses being more frequent around A-type stars. It also correlates with the presence of detectable far-infrared excess emission in the case of solar-type stars. Conclusions. This study provides new insights regarding the phenomenon of bright exozodiacal disc, showing that hot dust populations are probably linked to outer dust reservoirs in the case of solar-type stars. In the case of A-type stars, no clear conclusion can be made regarding the origin of the detected near-infrared excesses. [less ▲]

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See detailPotential of balloon payloads for in flight validation of direct and nulling interferometry concepts
Demangeon, Olivier; Ollivier, Marc; Le Duigou, Jean-Michel et al

in Danchi, W. C.; Delplancke, F.; Rajagopal, J. K. (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry II (2010, July)

While the question of low cost / low science precursors is raised to validate the concepts of direct and nulling interferometry space missions, balloon payloads offer a real opportunity thanks to their ... [more ▼]

While the question of low cost / low science precursors is raised to validate the concepts of direct and nulling interferometry space missions, balloon payloads offer a real opportunity thanks to their relatively low cost and reduced development plan. Taking into account the flight capabilities of various balloon types, we propose in this paper, several concepts of payloads associated to their flight plan. We also discuss the pros and cons of each concepts in terms of technological and science demonstration power. [less ▲]

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See detailAladdin nulling instrument
Barillot, Marc; Coudé Du Foresto, Vincent; Surdej, Jean ULg et al

in Spinoglio, L.; Epchtein, N. (Eds.) 3rd ARENA Conference: An Astronomical Observatory at CONCORDIA (Dome C, Antarctica) (2010)

The ALADDIN project aims at detecting warm dust populations around nearby main sequence stars. In order to achieve the significantly improved sensitivity with respect to existing instruments, the ... [more ▼]

The ALADDIN project aims at detecting warm dust populations around nearby main sequence stars. In order to achieve the significantly improved sensitivity with respect to existing instruments, the architecture of the system is focused and optimised for the mission: ALADDIN implements the nulling interferometry technique at the focal plane of a 2-telescope interferometer mounted on a rotating structural beam. Concerning the beam combining nulling instrument, the ALADDIN design is inherited from a Definition Study of the VLTI/GENIE instrument. In this paper, we demonstrate how the ALADDIN instrument preliminary definition can be made simpler and more representative of a space instrument than GENIE thanks to both the outstanding atmospheric properties of Dome C and the dedicated architecture of the system. Finally, we discuss the compatibility of the instrument with the Antarctic environment and constraints, and underline the experimental and industrial know-how learnt from the MAII and PERSEE nulling breadboards in which our Team is also involved. [less ▲]

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See detailDarwin---an experimental astronomy mission to search for extrasolar planets
Cockell, Charles S; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2009), 23

As a response to ESA call for mission concepts for its Cosmic Vision 2015--2025 plan, we propose a mission called Darwin. Its primary goal is the study of terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for ... [more ▼]

As a response to ESA call for mission concepts for its Cosmic Vision 2015--2025 plan, we propose a mission called Darwin. Its primary goal is the study of terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life on them. In this paper, we describe different characteristics of the instrument. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh dynamic range interferometric observations of exozodiacal discs: performance comparison between ground, space, and Antarctica
Absil, Olivier ULg; Defrere, Denis; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent et al

in Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William; Delplancke, Françoise (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry (2008, July 01)

The possible presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars represents a threat to the detection and characterisation of Earth-like extrasolar planets with future infrared ... [more ▼]

The possible presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars represents a threat to the detection and characterisation of Earth-like extrasolar planets with future infrared space interferometers such as DARWIN or TPF. In this paper, we first review the current detection capabilities of ground-based infrared interferometers such as CHARA/FLUOR and the detections of hot dust that have been obtained so far around a few main sequence stars. With the help of realistic instrumental simulations, we then discuss the relative merits of various ground-based sites (temperate and Antarctic) versus space-based observatories for the detection of exozodiacal discs down to a few zodi by interferometric nulling as a preparation to future life-finding missions. In particular, we discuss the performance of four proposed nulling interferometers: GENIE, ALADDIN, PEGASE and FKSI. An optimised strategy for the characterisation of candidate DARWIN/TPF targets is finally proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of the inner-debris disk of Vega with CHARA/FLUOR
Absil, Olivier ULg; Di Folco, Emmanuel; Mérand, Antoine et al

in Monnier, John; Schöller, Markus; Danchi, Willian (Eds.) Advances in Stellar Interferometry (2006, July 01)

Using the FLUOR beam-combiner installed at the CHARA Array (Mt. Wilson, CA), we have obtained highprecision visibility measurements of Vega, one of the prototypic debris-disk stars, known to be surrounded ... [more ▼]

Using the FLUOR beam-combiner installed at the CHARA Array (Mt. Wilson, CA), we have obtained highprecision visibility measurements of Vega, one of the prototypic debris-disk stars, known to be surrounded by a large amount of cold dust in a ring-like structure at 80-100 AU. The combination of short and long baselines has allowed us to separately resolve the stellar photosphere and the close environment of the star (less than 8 AU). Our observations show a significant deficit in square visibility at short baselines with respect to the expected visibility of a simple UD stellar model (DeltaV2 equal or equivalent to 2%), suggesting the presence of an extended source of emission around Vega. The sparse (u, v) plane coverage does not allow the discrimination between a point source and an extended circumstellar emission as the source of the extended emission. However, we show that the presence of a point-like source within the FLUOR field-of-view (1" in radius, i.e., 7.8 AU at the distance of Vega) is highly unlikely. The excess emission is most likely due to the presence of hot circumstellar dust in the inner part of Vega's debris disk, with a flux ratio of 1.29 plus or minus 0.19% between the integrated dust emission and the stellar photosphere. Complementing this result with archival photometric data in the near- and mid-infrared and taking into account a realistic photospheric model for the rapidly rotating Vega, we derive the expected physical properties of the circumstellar dust by modelling its Spectral Energy Distribution. The inferred properties suggest that the Vega system could be currently undergoing major dynamical perturbations. [less ▲]

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See detailConceptual design of the ALADDIN Antarctic nulling interferometer
Barillot, Marc; Courteau, Pascal; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in Monnier, John; Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William (Eds.) Advances in Stellar Interferometry (2006, July 01)

It is commonly accepted that highly challenging planet finding missions such as Darwin and TPF need precursors on the ground, for both technological demonstration and study of the exozodiacal clouds ... [more ▼]

It is commonly accepted that highly challenging planet finding missions such as Darwin and TPF need precursors on the ground, for both technological demonstration and study of the exozodiacal clouds around potential targets. A first instrument, GENIE, designed to be implemented in the interferometric laboratory of the VLTI, was studied by ESA and scientific/industrial teams. In this paper we present a concept for ALADDIN, an operational nulling instrument to be implemented at Dome C in Antarctica, and discuss the comparison with GENIE from the instrumental point of view. Our preliminary design involves moderate ~1m size telescopes mounted on a 40m long rotating beam allowing baselines up to 30m and feeding a 2-arm nulling beam combiner. When compared to GENIE, the rotating beam design has the advantage of removing the need for both long-stroke delay line and dispersion control equipments. As a side effect, the instrumental arrangement of ALADDIN finds itself more representative of what Darwin will be. Furthermore, critical issues like phase control, photometric balance and instrumental background suppression are expected to be relaxed by the improved atmospheric conditions, lower temperature, and simpler optical trains. Calibration of geometrical stellar leakage will make advantage of the continuously adjustable baseline. As results, a simpler instrument showing improved performance is expected. In conclusion, we see our ALADDIN concept as a valuable alternative to GENIE, with a quite stronger scientific potential and a considerably simplified instrumental design. [less ▲]

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See detailHot Circumstellar Material around Vega
Absil, Olivier ULg; Di Folco, Emmanuel; Mérand, Antoine et al

in Coudé du Foresto, Vincent; Rouan, Daniel; Rousset, Gérard (Eds.) Visions for Infrared Astronomy (2006, March)

Using the FLUOR beam-combiner at the CHARA Array, we have obtained highprecision visibility measurements of Vega, a prototypic debris-disk star. The combination of long and short baselines has allowed us ... [more ▼]

Using the FLUOR beam-combiner at the CHARA Array, we have obtained highprecision visibility measurements of Vega, a prototypic debris-disk star. The combination of long and short baselines has allowed us to separately resolve the stellar photosphere and the close environment of the star (< 8 AU). Our observations show a significant deficit in square visibility at short baselines with respect to the expected visibility of a simple uniform disk stellar model, suggesting the presence of an extended source around Vega. We propose that the excess emission is most likely due to the presence of hot circumstellar dust in the inner part of Vega's debris disk, with a flux ratio of 1.29 ± 0.19% between the integrated dust emission and the stellar photosphere. Using this information together with archival photometric measurements in the nearand mid-infrared, we derive the expected physical properties of the circumstellar dust by modelling its infrared Spectral Energy Distribution. The inferred properties suggest that the Vega system could be currently undergoing major dynamical perturbations. [less ▲]

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See detailALADDIN: an optimized ground-based precursor for DARWIN
Coudé du Foresto, Vincent; Absil, Olivier ULg; Barillot, Marc et al

in Aime, C.; Vakili, F. (Eds.) Direct Imaging of Exoplanets: Science & Techniques (2006)

The ALADDIN concept is an integrated Antarctic-based L-band experiment whose purpose is to demonstrate nulling interferometry and to prepare the DARWIN mission. Because of their privileged location, the ... [more ▼]

The ALADDIN concept is an integrated Antarctic-based L-band experiment whose purpose is to demonstrate nulling interferometry and to prepare the DARWIN mission. Because of their privileged location, the relatively modest collectors (1 m) and baseline (up to 40 m) are sufficient to achieve a sensitivity (in terms of detectable zodi levels) which is about twice better than that of a nulling instrument on a large interferometer (such as GENIE at the VLTI), and to reach the 20-zodi threshold value identified to carry out the DARWIN precursor science. These numbers are based on a preliminary design study by Alcatel Alenia Space and were obtained using the same simulation software as the one employed for GENIE. The integrated design enables top-level optimization and full access to the light collectors for the duration of the experiment, while reducing the complexity of the nulling breadboard. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of optical path delay control on a ground-based nulling interferometer
Absil, Olivier ULg; Coude du Foresto, Vincent

in Traub, Wesley (Ed.) Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II (2003, February 01)

Atmospheric turbulence is a major source of noise in any fiber-linked interferometer through the piston effect between the two arms of the interferometer which induces an erratic movement of the fringes ... [more ▼]

Atmospheric turbulence is a major source of noise in any fiber-linked interferometer through the piston effect between the two arms of the interferometer which induces an erratic movement of the fringes. Because the stellar light has to be permanently cancelled by the central dark fringe, a ground-based nulling interferometer is not possible without stringent optical path delay (OPD) control. In this paper, we investigate the influence of the residual OPD error of a fringe tracking unit on the performances of a nulling interferometer. The accuracy required for this control system strongly depends on the observation wavelength. If we want to detect exozodiacal clouds ten times as dense as our zodiacal dust cloud in the near-infrared (L' band), the performances of the fringe tracker are crucial: the residual OPD should be about 20 nanometers RMS. This specification can only be reached if the fringe sensor is optimized for bright sources. In the mid-infrared (N band), the requirements are strongly relaxed: OPD control with an accuracy of 400 nm RMS is sufficient to be background-limited, but a lower residual OPD (about 50 nm RMS) is strongly recommended to reduce the stellar leakage. [less ▲]

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