Abstract

The designs of various achromatic phase shifters (APSs) envisaged for nulling interferometry and the search for extrasolar planets or systems from space are discussed in this Letter. It is shown that APS designs can sensibly influence the performance achieved by a simple Bracewell interferometer if they introduce a field of view (FoV) reversal and a pupil flip along one interferometer arm. Analytical and numerical simulations are presented, showing severe signal-to-noise ratio loss and a weak capacity for serendipitous discoveries. The use of FoV-reversal APS should therefore be restricted to the characterization of already known extrasolar planets rather than to their detection.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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