References of "Mennesson, B"      in Complete repository Arts & humanities   Archaeology   Art & art history   Classical & oriental studies   History   Languages & linguistics   Literature   Performing arts   Philosophy & ethics   Religion & theology   Multidisciplinary, general & others Business & economic sciences   Accounting & auditing   Production, distribution & supply chain management   Finance   General management & organizational theory   Human resources management   Management information systems   Marketing   Strategy & innovation   Quantitative methods in economics & management   General economics & history of economic thought   International economics   Macroeconomics & monetary economics   Microeconomics   Economic systems & public economics   Social economics   Special economic topics (health, labor, transportation…)   Multidisciplinary, general & others Engineering, computing & technology   Aerospace & aeronautics engineering   Architecture   Chemical engineering   Civil engineering   Computer science   Electrical & electronics engineering   Energy   Geological, petroleum & mining engineering   Materials science & engineering   Mechanical engineering   Multidisciplinary, general & others Human health sciences   Alternative medicine   Anesthesia & intensive care   Cardiovascular & respiratory systems   Dentistry & oral medicine   Dermatology   Endocrinology, metabolism & nutrition   Forensic medicine   Gastroenterology & hepatology   General & internal medicine   Geriatrics   Hematology   Immunology & infectious disease   Laboratory medicine & medical technology   Neurology   Oncology   Ophthalmology   Orthopedics, rehabilitation & sports medicine   Otolaryngology   Pediatrics   Pharmacy, pharmacology & toxicology   Psychiatry   Public health, health care sciences & services   Radiology, nuclear medicine & imaging   Reproductive medicine (gynecology, andrology, obstetrics)   Rheumatology   Surgery   Urology & nephrology   Multidisciplinary, general & others Law, criminology & political science   Civil law   Criminal law & procedure   Criminology   Economic & commercial law   European & international law   Judicial law   Metalaw, Roman law, history of law & comparative law   Political science, public administration & international relations   Public law   Social law   Tax law   Multidisciplinary, general & others Life sciences   Agriculture & agronomy   Anatomy (cytology, histology, embryology...) & physiology   Animal production & animal husbandry   Aquatic sciences & oceanology   Biochemistry, biophysics & molecular biology   Biotechnology   Entomology & pest control   Environmental sciences & ecology   Food science   Genetics & genetic processes   Microbiology   Phytobiology (plant sciences, forestry, mycology...)   Veterinary medicine & animal health   Zoology   Multidisciplinary, general & others Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences   Chemistry   Earth sciences & physical geography   Mathematics   Physics   Space science, astronomy & astrophysics   Multidisciplinary, general & others Social & behavioral sciences, psychology   Animal psychology, ethology & psychobiology   Anthropology   Communication & mass media   Education & instruction   Human geography & demography   Library & information sciences   Neurosciences & behavior   Regional & inter-regional studies   Social work & social policy   Sociology & social sciences   Social, industrial & organizational psychology   Theoretical & cognitive psychology   Treatment & clinical psychology   Multidisciplinary, general & others     Showing results 1 to 18 of 18 1 Exoplanet science with the LBTI: instrument status and plansDefrère, D.; Hinz, P.; Skemer, A. et alin Shaklan, Stuart (Ed.) Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII (2015, September 16)The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) is a strategic instrument of the LBT designed for high-sensitivity, high-contrast, and high-resolution infrared (1.5-13 $\mu$m) imaging of nearby ... [more ▼]The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) is a strategic instrument of the LBT designed for high-sensitivity, high-contrast, and high-resolution infrared (1.5-13 $\mu$m) imaging of nearby planetary systems. To carry out a wide range of high-spatial resolution observations, it can combine the two AO-corrected 8.4-m apertures of the LBT in various ways including direct (non-interferometric) imaging, coronagraphy (APP and AGPM), Fizeau imaging, non-redundant aperture masking, and nulling interferometry. It also has broadband, narrowband, and spectrally dispersed capabilities. In this paper, we review the performance of these modes in terms of exoplanet science capabilities and describe recent instrumental milestones such as first-light Fizeau images (with the angular resolution of an equivalent 22.8-m telescope) and deep interferometric nulling observations. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 28 (9 ULg) First-light LBT Nulling Interferometric Observations: Warm Exozodiacal Dust Resolved within a Few AU of eta CrvDefrere, D.; Hinz, P. M.; Skemer, A. J. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2015), 799We report on the first nulling interferometric observations with the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), resolving the N' band (9.81-12.41 μm) emission around the nearby main-sequence star η ... [more ▼]We report on the first nulling interferometric observations with the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), resolving the N' band (9.81-12.41 μm) emission around the nearby main-sequence star η Crv (F2V, 1-2 Gyr). The measured source null depth amounts to 4.40% ± 0.35% over a field-of-view of 140 mas in radius (~2.6 AU for the distance of η Crv) and shows no significant variation over 35° of sky rotation. This relatively low null is unexpected given the total disk to star flux ratio measured by the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS; ~23% across the N' band), suggesting that a significant fraction of the dust lies within the central nulled response of the LBTI (79 mas or 1.4 AU). Modeling of the warm disk shows that it cannot resemble a scaled version of the solar zodiacal cloud unless it is almost perpendicular to the outer disk imaged by Herschel. It is more likely that the inner and outer disks are coplanar and the warm dust is located at a distance of 0.5-1.0 AU, significantly closer than previously predicted by models of the IRS spectrum (~3 AU). The predicted disk sizes can be reconciled if the warm disk is not centrosymmetric, or if the dust particles are dominated by very small grains. Both possibilities hint that a recent collision has produced much of the dust. Finally, we discuss the implications for the presence of dust for the distance where the insolation is the same as Earth's (2.3 AU). [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 18 (2 ULg) Constraining the Exozodiacal Luminosity Function of Main-sequence Stars: Complete Results from the Keck Nuller Mid-infrared SurveysMennesson, B.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Serabyn, E. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2014), 797Forty-seven nearby main-sequence stars were surveyed with the Keck Interferometer mid-infrared Nulling instrument (KIN) between 2008 and 2011, searching for faint resolved emission from exozodiacal dust ... [more ▼]Forty-seven nearby main-sequence stars were surveyed with the Keck Interferometer mid-infrared Nulling instrument (KIN) between 2008 and 2011, searching for faint resolved emission from exozodiacal dust. Observations of a subset of the sample have already been reported, focusing essentially on stars with no previously known dust. Here we extend this previous analysis to the whole KIN sample, including 22 more stars with known near- and/or far-infrared excesses. In addition to an analysis similar to that of the first paper of this series, which was restricted to the 8-9 mum spectral region, we present measurements obtained in all 10 spectral channels covering the 8-13 mum instrumental bandwidth. Based on the 8-9 mum data alone, which provide the highest signal-to-noise measurements, only one star shows a large excess imputable to dust emission (eta Crv), while four more show a significant (>3sigma) excess: beta Leo, beta UMa, zeta Lep, and gamma Oph. Overall, excesses detected by KIN are more frequent around A-type stars than later spectral types. A statistical analysis of the measurements further indicates that stars with known far-infrared (lambda >= 70 mum) excesses have higher exozodiacal emission levels than stars with no previous indication of a cold outer disk. This statistical trend is observed regardless of spectral type and points to a dynamical connection between the inner (zodi-like) and outer (Kuiper-Belt-like) dust populations. The measured levels for such stars are clustering close to the KIN detection limit of a few hundred zodis and are indeed consistent with those expected from a populat [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 14 (1 ULg) Fundamental Limitations of High Contrast Imaging Set by Small Sample StatisticsMawet, D.; Milli, J.; Wahhaj, Z. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2014), 792In this paper, we review the impact of small sample statistics on detection thresholds and corresponding confidence levels (CLs) in high-contrast imaging at small angles. When looking close to the star ... [more ▼]In this paper, we review the impact of small sample statistics on detection thresholds and corresponding confidence levels (CLs) in high-contrast imaging at small angles. When looking close to the star, the number of resolution elements decreases rapidly toward small angles. This reduction of the number of degrees of freedom dramatically affects CLs and false alarm probabilities. Naively using the same ideal hypothesis and methods as for larger separations, which are well understood and commonly assume Gaussian noise, can yield up to one order of magnitude error in contrast estimations at fixed CL. The statistical penalty exponentially increases toward very small inner working angles. Even at 5-10 resolution elements from the star, false alarm probabilities can be significantly higher than expected. Here we present a rigorous statistical analysis that ensures robustness of the CL, but also imposes a substantial limitation on corresponding achievable detection limits (thus contrast) at small angles. This unavoidable fundamental statistical effect has a significant impact on current coronagraphic and future high-contrast imagers. Finally, the paper concludes with practical recommendations to account for small number statistics when computing the sensitivity to companions at small angles and when exploiting the results of direct imaging planet surveys. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 36 (8 ULg) L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on LBTI/LMIRCamDefrère, D.; Absil, Olivier ; Hinz, P. et alin Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (2014, July 21)We present the first observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM vortex coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCam. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from ... [more ▼]We present the first observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM vortex coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCam. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond subwavelength gratings. It is designed to improve the sensitivity and dynamic range of high-resolution imaging at very small inner working angles, down to 0.09 arcseconds in the case of LBTI/LMIRCam in the L' band. During the first hours on sky, we observed the young A5V star HR8799 with the goal to demonstrate the AGPM performance and assess its relevance for the ongoing LBTI planet survey (LEECH). Preliminary analyses of the data reveal the four known planets clearly at high SNR and provide unprecedented sensitivity limits in the inner planetary system (down to the diffraction limit of 0.09 arcseconds). © 2014 SPIE. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 22 (4 ULg) L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on LBTI/LMIRCAMDefrere, D.; Absil, Olivier ; Hinz, P. et alPoster (2014, March)We present the first science observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCAM. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from ... [more ▼]We present the first science observations obtained with the L'-band AGPM coronagraph recently installed on LBTI/LMIRCAM. The AGPM (Annular Groove Phase Mask) is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength gratings tuned to the L'-band. It is designed to improve the sensitivity and dynamic range of high-resolution imaging at very small inner working a [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 38 (8 ULg) The Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Planetary Systems (HOSTS)Defrere, D.; Hinz, P.; Bryden, G. et alConference (2014, March)The presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars is considered as a potential threat for the direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets and, hence, the search for ... [more ▼]The presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars is considered as a potential threat for the direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets and, hence, the search for biosignatures (Roberge et al. 2012). However, it is also considered as a signpost for the presence of terrestrial planets that might be hidden in the dust disk (Stark and Kuchner 2008). Characterizing exozodiacal dust around nearby sequence stars is therefore a crucial step toward one of the main goals of modern astronomy: finding extraterrestrial life. After briefly reviewing the latest results in this field, we present the exozodiacal dust survey on the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI). The survey is called HOSTS and is specifically designed to determine the prevalence and brightness of exozodiacal dust disks with the sensitivity required to prepare for future New Worlds Missions that will image Earth-like exoplanets. To achieve this objective, the LBTI science team has carefully established a balanced list of 50 nearby main-sequence stars that are likely candidates of these missions and/or can be observed with the best instrument performance (see companion abstract by Roberge et al.). Exozodiacal dust disk candidates detected by the Keck Interferometer Nuller will also be observed. The first results of the survey will be presented. To precisely detect exozodiacal dust, the LBTI combines the two 8-m primary mirrors of the LBT using N-band nulling interferometry. Interferometric combination provides the required angular resolution (70-90 mas) to resolve the habitable zone of nearby main sequence stars while nulling is used to subtract the stellar light and reach the required contrast of a few 10-4. A Kband fringe tracker ensures the stability of the null. The current performance of the instrument and the first nulling measurements will be presented. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 11 (0 ULg) Expanding the CHARA/FLUOR hot disk surveyMennesson, B.; Scott, N.; Ten Brummelaar, T. et alin Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation (2013), 2(2), 1340010Little is presently known about the hot (>300 K) dust component of debris disks surrounding main sequence stars, similar to the zodiacal dust cloud found in the inner solar system.While extensive surveys ... [more ▼]Little is presently known about the hot (>300 K) dust component of debris disks surrounding main sequence stars, similar to the zodiacal dust cloud found in the inner solar system.While extensive surveys have been carried out from space, the majority of detections have surprisingly come from the ground, where near infrared interferometric observations have recently revealed small (∼1%) resolved excesses around a dozen nearby main sequence stars. Most of these results have come from the CHARA array “FLUOR” instrument (Mt. Wilson, CA), which has demonstrated the best sensitivity worldwide so far for this type of studies, and has carried out an initial survey of ∼40 stars. In order to further understand the origin of this “hot dust phenomenon”, we will extend this initial survey to a larger number of stars and lower excess detection limits, i.e. higher visibility accuracy providing higher contrast measurements. To this end, two major instrumental developments are underway at CHARA. The first one aims at improving FLUOR’s sensitivity to a median K-band magnitude limit of 5 (making 200 targets available). The second development is based on a method that we recently developed for accurate (better than 0.1%) null depth measurements of stars, and that can be extended to regular interferometric visibility measurements. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 20 (3 ULg) An interferometric study of the Fomalhaut inner debris disk. III. Detailed models of the exozodiacal disk and its originLebreton, J; van Lieshout, R; Augereau, J-C et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555Context. Debris disks are thought to be extrasolar analogues to the Solar System planetesimal belts. The star Fomalhaut harbors a cold debris belt at 140AU comparable to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, as well ... [more ▼]Context. Debris disks are thought to be extrasolar analogues to the Solar System planetesimal belts. The star Fomalhaut harbors a cold debris belt at 140AU comparable to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, as well as evidence for a warm dust component, unresolved by single-dish telescopes, that is suspected to be a bright analogue to the Solar System's zodiacal dust. Aims. Interferometric observations obtained with the VLTI/VINCI instrument and the Keck Interferometer Nuller have identi fied near- and mid-infrared excesses attributed respectively to hot and warm exozodiacal dust residing in the inner few AU of the Fomalhaut environment. We aim to characterize the properties of this double inner dust belt and to unveil its origin. Methods.We perform parametric modelling of the exozodiacal disk ("exozodi") using the GRaTer radiative transfer code in order to reproduce the interferometric data, complemented by mid- to far-infrared photometric measurements from Spitzer and Herschel. A detailed treatment of sublimation temperatures is introduced to explore the hot population at the size-dependent sublimation rim. We then use an analytical approach to test successively several source mechanisms for the dust and suspected parent bodies. Results. A good fi t to the multi-wavelength data is found by two distinct dust populations: (1) a population of very small (0.01 to 0.5 µ m) and therefore unbound, hot dust grains con ned in a narrow region ( ~0.1 - 0.3 AU) at the sublimation rim of carbonaceous material; (2) a population of bound grains at 2AU that is protected from sublimation and has a larger mass despite its fainter flux level. We propose that the hot dust is produced by the release of small carbon grains following the disruption of dust aggregates that originate from the warm component. A mechanism such as gas braking is required to further con ne the small grains for long enough. In situ dust production could hardly be ensured for the age of the star and we conclude that the observed amount of dust is triggered by intense dynamical activity. Conclusions. Fomalhaut may be representative of exozodis that are currently being surveyed at near and mid-infrared wavelengths worldwide. We propose a framework for reconciling the "hot exozodi phenomenon" with theoretical constraints: the hot component of Fomalhaut is likely the "tip of the iceberg" as it could derive from the more massive, but fainter, warm dust component residing near the ice line. This inner disk exhibits interesting morphology and can be considered a prime target for future exoplanet research. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 34 (2 ULg) An interferometric study of the Fomalhaut inner debris disk II. Keck Nuller mid-infrared observationsMennesson, B.; Absil, Olivier ; Lebreton, J. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763We report on high contrast mid-infrared observations of Fomalhaut obtained with the Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) showing a small resolved excess over the level expected from the stellar photosphere ... [more ▼]We report on high contrast mid-infrared observations of Fomalhaut obtained with the Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) showing a small resolved excess over the level expected from the stellar photosphere. The measured null excess has a mean value of 0.35% +/- 0.10% between 8 and 11 microns and increases from 8 to 13 microns. Given the small field of view of the instrument, the source of this marginal excess must be contained within 2AU of Fomalhaut. This result is reminiscent of previous VLTI K-band observations, which implied the presence of a ~ 0.88% excess, and argued that thermal emission from hot dusty grains located within 6 AU from Fomalhaut was the most plausible explanation. Using a parametric 2D radiative transfer code and a Bayesian analysis, we examine different dust disk structures to reproduce both the near and mid-infrared data simultaneously. While not a definitive explanation of the hot excess of Fomalhaut, our model suggests that the most likely inner few AU disk geometry consists of a two-component structure, with two different and spatially distinct grain populations. The 2 to 11 microns data are consistent with an inner hot ring of very small (~ 10 to 300 nm) carbon-rich grains concentrating around 0.1AU. The second dust population consists of larger grains (size of a few microns to a few tens of microns) located further out in a colder region where regular astronomical silicates could survive, with an inner edge around 1AU. From a dynamical point of view, the presence of the inner concentration of sub-micron sized grains is surprising, as such grains should be expelled from the inner planetary system by radiation pressure within only a few years. This could either point to some inordinate replenishment rates (e.g. many grazing comets coming from an outer reservoir) or to the existence of some braking mechanism preventing the grains from moving out. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 44 (9 ULg) High-contrast Stellar Observations within the Diffraction Limit at the Palomar Hale TelescopeMennesson, B.; Hanot, Charles ; Serabyn, Eugene et alin Astrophysical Journal (2011), 743We report on high-accuracy high-resolution (<20 mas) stellar observations obtained with the Palomar Fiber Nuller (PFN), a near-infrared (sime2.2 μm) interferometric coronagraph installed at the Palomar ... [more ▼]We report on high-accuracy high-resolution (<20 mas) stellar observations obtained with the Palomar Fiber Nuller (PFN), a near-infrared (sime2.2 μm) interferometric coronagraph installed at the Palomar Hale telescope. The PFN uses destructive interference between two elliptical (3 m × 1.5 m) sub-apertures of the primary to reach high dynamic range inside the diffraction limit of the full telescope. In order to validate the PFN's instrumental approach and its data reduction strategy, based on the newly developed "Null Self-Calibration" (NSC) method, we observed a sample of eight well-characterized bright giants and supergiants. The quantity measured is the source astrophysical null depth, or equivalently the object's visibility at the PFN 3.2 m interferometric baseline. For the bare stars α Boo, α Her, β And, and α Aur, PFN measurements are in excellent agreement with previous stellar photosphere measurements from long baseline interferometry. For the mass-losing stars β Peg, α Ori, ρ Per, and χ Cyg, circumstellar emission and/or asymmetries are detected. Overall, these early observations demonstrate the PFN's ability to measure astrophysical null depths below 10[SUP]-2[/SUP] (limited by stellar diameters), with 1 σ uncertainties as low as a few 10[SUP]-4[/SUP]. Such visibility accuracy is unmatched at this spatial resolution in the near-infrared and translates into a contrast better than 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] within the diffraction limit. With further improvements anticipated in 2011/2012, a state-of-the-art infrared science camera and a new extreme adaptive optics system, the PFN should provide a unique tool for the detection of hot debris disks and young self-luminous sub-stellar companions in the immediate vicinity of nearby stars. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 49 (4 ULg) A Dim Candidate Companion to epsilon CepheiMawet, D.; Mennesson, B.; Serabyn, E. et alin Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 738Using a vector vortex coronagraph behind the 1.5 m well-corrected subaperture (WCS) at Palomar, we detected a second object very close to epsilon Cephei, a δ Scuti F0 IV star. The candidate companion, ~50 ... [more ▼]Using a vector vortex coronagraph behind the 1.5 m well-corrected subaperture (WCS) at Palomar, we detected a second object very close to epsilon Cephei, a δ Scuti F0 IV star. The candidate companion, ~50 times fainter than epsilon Cephei, if physically associated, is a late-type K or early M star, and lies at an angular separation of 330 mas, or 1.1 λ/D for the WCS, making it the smallest angle detection ever realized with a coronagraph in terms of λ/D units. The projected separation of the putative companion is ~8.6 AU, most likely on a highly eccentric orbit. The recently detected near-infrared excess is thus likely not due to hot dust. Moreover, we also show that the previously reported IRAS 60 μm excess was due to source confusion on the galactic plane. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 17 (0 ULg) New Constraints on Companions and Dust within a Few AU of VegaMennesson, B.; Serabyn, E.; Hanot, Charles et alin Astrophysical Journal (2011), 736We report on high contrast near-infrared (~2.2 μm) observations of Vega obtained with the Palomar Fiber Nuller, a dual sub-aperture rotating coronagraph installed at the Palomar Hale telescope. The data ... [more ▼]We report on high contrast near-infrared (~2.2 μm) observations of Vega obtained with the Palomar Fiber Nuller, a dual sub-aperture rotating coronagraph installed at the Palomar Hale telescope. The data show consistent astrophysical null depth measurements at the ~= 10[SUP]–3[/SUP] level or below for three different baseline orientations spanning 60 deg in azimuth, with individual 1σ uncertainties <=7 × 10[SUP]–4[/SUP]. These high cancellation and accuracy levels translate into a dynamic range greater than 1000:1 inside the diffraction limit of the 5 m telescope beam. Such high contrast performance is unprecedented in the near-infrared and provides improved constraints on Vega's immediate (sime20 to 250 mas, or sime0.15 to 2 AU) environment. In particular, our measurements rule out any potential companion in the [0.25-1 AU] region contributing more than 1% of the overall near-infrared stellar flux, with limits as low as 0.2% near 0.6 AU. These are the best upper limits established so far by direct detection for a companion to Vega in this inner region. We also conclude that any dust population contributing a significant (>=1%) near-infrared thermal excess can arise only within 0.2 AU of the star, and that it must consist of much smaller grains than in the solar zodiacal cloud. Dust emission from farther than sime2 AU is also not ruled out by our observations, but would have to originate in strong scattering, pointing again to very small grains. Based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory as part of a continuing collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 11 (0 ULg) High contrast stellar observations within the diffraction limit at the Palomar Hale telescopeMennesson, B.; Hanot, Charles ; Serabyn, E. et alin McLean, I.; Ramsay, S.; Takami, H. (Eds.) Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III (2010, July 01)We report on high-accuracy, high-resolution (< 20mas) stellar measurements obtained in the near infrared ( 2.2 microns) at the Palomar 200 inch telescope using two elliptical (3m x 1.5m) sub-apertures ... [more ▼]We report on high-accuracy, high-resolution (< 20mas) stellar measurements obtained in the near infrared ( 2.2 microns) at the Palomar 200 inch telescope using two elliptical (3m x 1.5m) sub-apertures located 3.4m apart. Our interferometric coronagraph, known as the "Palomar Fiber Nuller" (PFN), is located downstream of the Palomar adaptive optics (AO) system and recombines the two separate beams into a common singlemode fiber. The AO system acts as a "fringe tracker", maintaining the optical path difference (OPD) between the beams around an adjustable value, which is set to the central dark interference fringe. AO correction ensures high efficiency and stable injection of the beams into the single-mode fiber. A chopper wheel and a fast photometer are used to record short (< 50ms per beam) interleaved sequences of background, individual beam and interferometric signals. In order to analyze these chopped null data sequences, we developed a new statistical method, baptized "Null Self-Calibration" (NSC), which provides astrophysical null measurements at the 0.001 level, with 1 σ uncertainties as low as 0.0003. Such accuracy translates into a dynamic range greater than 1000:1 within the diffraction limit, demonstrating that the approach effectively bridges the traditional gap between regular coronagraphs, limited in angular resolution, and long baseline visibility interferometers, whose dynamic range is restricted to 100:1. As our measurements are extremely sensitive to the brightness distribution very close to the optical axis, we were able to constrain the stellar diameters and amounts of circumstellar emission for a sample of very bright stars. With the improvement expected when the PALM-3000 extreme AO system comes on-line at Palomar, the same instrument now equipped with a state of the art low noise fast read-out near IR camera, will yield 10[SUP]-4[/SUP] to 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] contrast as close as 30 mas for stars with K magnitude brighter than 6. Such a system will provide a unique and ideal tool for the detection of young (<100 Myr) self-luminous planets and hot debris disks in the immediate vicinity (0.1 to a few AUs) of nearby (< 50pc) stars. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 14 (4 ULg) The potential of rotating-baseline nulling interferometers operating within large single-telescope aperturesSerabyn, E.; Mennesson, B.; Martin, Stefan et alin Danchi, W. C.; Delplancke, F.; Rajagopal, J. K. (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry II (2010, July 01)The use of a rotating-baseline nulling interferometer for exoplanet detection was proposed several decades ago, but the technique has not yet been fully demonstrated in practice. Here we consider the ... [more ▼]The use of a rotating-baseline nulling interferometer for exoplanet detection was proposed several decades ago, but the technique has not yet been fully demonstrated in practice. Here we consider the faint companion and exozodiacal disk detection capabilities of rotating-baseline nulling interferometers, such as are envisioned for space-based infrared nullers, but operating instead within the aperture of large single telescopes. In particular, a nulling interferometer on a large aperture corrected by a next-generation extreme adaptive optics system can provide deep interferometric contrasts, and also reach smaller angles (sub λ/D) than classical coronagraphs. Such rotating nullers also provide validation for an eventual space-based rotating-baseline nulling interferometer. As practical examples, we describe ongoing experiments with rotating nullers at Palomar and Keck, and consider briefly the case of the Thirty Meter Telescope. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 16 (2 ULg) The Fomalhaut debris disk seen from every angle with interferometryAbsil, Olivier ; Mennesson, B.; Le Bouquin, J.-B. et alin Danchi, W. C.; Delplancke, F.; Rajagopal, J. K. (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry II (2010, July)In this paper, we present the results of three different studies of the Fomalhaut debris disk with infrared interferometry. First, VLTI/AMBER measurements are used to determine the position angle of the ... [more ▼]In this paper, we present the results of three different studies of the Fomalhaut debris disk with infrared interferometry. First, VLTI/AMBER measurements are used to determine the position angle of the slightly oblate rapidly rotating photosphere by means of differential phase measurements across the Br-gamma photospheric line. This measurement allows us to confirm that the debris disk is located in the equatorial plane of its host star. Second, we use VLTI/VINCI to search for resolved near-infrared emission around the stellar photosphere, which would correspond to the presence of large amounts of hot dust grains located between the sublimation radius and the habitable zone. Our observations reveal a small excess of 0.88%+/-0.12% in K band relative to the photospheric flux. Finally, we use the Keck Interferometer Nuller in order to derive additional constraints on the nature of the resolved infrared emission. Our observations suggest a marginal detection of a circumstellar excess at 10 μm, which we use together with the VINCI detection to model the circumstellar emission. Preliminary results from this modeling effort are discussed. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 24 (3 ULg) Exoplanet Characterization and the Search for LifeKasting, James; Traub, W.; Roberge, A. et alE-print/Working paper (2009)Over 300 extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been detected orbiting nearby stars. We now hope to conduct a census of all planets around nearby stars and to characterize their atmospheres and surfaces ... [more ▼]Over 300 extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been detected orbiting nearby stars. We now hope to conduct a census of all planets around nearby stars and to characterize their atmospheres and surfaces with spectroscopy. Rocky planets within their star's habitable zones have the highest priority, as these have the potential to harbor life. Our science goal is to find and characterize all nearby exoplanets; this requires that we measure the mass, orbit, and spectroscopic signature of each one at visible and infrared wavelengths. The techniques for doing this are at hand today. Within the decade we could answer long-standing questions about the evolution and nature of other planetary systems, and we could search for clues as to whether life exists elsewhere in our galactic neighborhood. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 12 (3 ULg) Technology for a Mid-IR Flagship Mission to Characterize Earth-like ExoplanetsLawson, P. R.; Absil, Olivier ; Akeson, R. L. et alE-print/Working paper (2009)The exploration of Earth-like exoplanets will be enabled at mid-infrared wavelengths through technology and engineering advances in nulling interferometry and precision formation flying. Nulling ... [more ▼]The exploration of Earth-like exoplanets will be enabled at mid-infrared wavelengths through technology and engineering advances in nulling interferometry and precision formation flying. Nulling interferometry provides the dynamic range needed for the detection of biomarkers. Formation flying provides the angular resolution required in the mid-infrared to separately distinguish the spectra of planets in multi-planet systems. The flight performance requirements for nulling have been met and must now be validated in a flight-like environment. Formation-flying algorithms have been demonstrated in the lab and must now be validated in space. Our proposed technology program is described. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 29 (4 ULg) 1