Alluxa, Inc., a global leader in high-performance optical coatings and filters and thin-film deposition technologies, announces the ground-breaking development of 15-band optical filters for use in the Exoplanet Transmission Spectroscopy Imager (ETSI) instrument at Texas A&M University, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, and Department of Physics & Astronomy (https://physics.tamu.edu/).
ETSI is the first precision instrument that can examine hundreds of exoplanet transmission spectra from a modest ground-based, observatory utilizing small to medium-class telescopes.
The ETSI makes use of a new characterization technique called common-path multi-band imaging (CMI). The optical design of the instrument includes a prism and Alluxa’s novel mutli-band optical filters to simultaneously image 15 bandpasses on two detectors (from 430 nm - 975 nm) during exoplanet transits of a bright star. This pioneering design enables ETSI to achieve unprecedented photometric precision during transit spectroscopy measurements.
Mike Scobey, a co-author of the paper and CEO at Alluxa, notes, “The Alluxa engineering team developed the custom 15-band technology for Texas A&M for this groundbreaking ETSI project to detect the atmospheres of exoplanets of distant stars. The technique should also scale into larger and more sensitive telescopes with the potential to facilitate detection of the first habitable planets outside our solar system. We are extremely pleased to have contributed to this important endeavor and look forward to seeing the future results.”
“ETSI and the CMI technique may offer a gateway for characterizing almost all transiting exoplanets and potential habitability from ground-based observatories,” according to the collaborative white paper from Texas A&M University and Alluxa, Inc. To learn more about the Exoplanet Transmission Spectroscopy Imager, download the white paper here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2012.00795.pdf.