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MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Multi-Mission Modeling for Space-Based Exoplanet Imagers

Article: Savransky, D; Delacroix, C; Garrett, D; “Multi-Mission Modeling for Space-Based Exoplanet Imagers”, TECHNIQUES AND INSTRUMENTATION FOR DETECTION OF EXOPLANETS VIII, Proceedings of SPIE


Abstract:  In addition to the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope Coronagraphic Imager (WFIRST CGI), which is currently scheduled for launch in the mid 2020s, there is an extensive, ongoing design effort for next-generation, space-based, exoplanet imaging instrumentation. This work involves mission concepts such as the Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Misson (HabEx), and a starshade rendezvous mission for WFIRST, among others. While each of these efforts includes detailed mission analysis targeted at the specifics of each design, there is also interest in being able to analyze all such concepts in a unified way (to the extent that this is

possible) and to draw specific comparisons between projected concept capabilities. Here, we discuss and compare two fundamental approaches to mission analysis-full mission simulation and depth of search analysis-in the specific context of simulating and comparing multiple different mission concepts. We present strategies for mission analysis at varying stages of concept definition, using WFIRST as a motivating example, and discuss useful metrics for cross-mission comparison, as well as strategies for evaluating these metrics.

Funding Acknowledgement:  NASA [NNX15AJ67G, NNG16PJ24C]

Funding Text:  This work was supported by NASA Grant Nos. NNX15AJ67G (WFIRST Preparatory Science) and NNG16PJ24C (WFIRST Science Investigation Teams). This research made use of Astropy, a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration, 2013) and OR-Tools, an optimization framework developed and released by Google Inc. with community support.

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