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Exo-Life Finder (ELF) Telescope: new strategies for direct detection of exoplanet biosignatures and technosignatures

Berdyugina, S.V. and Kuhn, J.R. and Langlois, M. and Moretto, G. and Krissansen-Totton, J. and Catling, D and Grenfell, J L and Santi-Temkiv, T. and Finster, K. and Tarter, J. and Marchis, F. and Hargitai, Hendrik and Apai, D. (2018) Exo-Life Finder (ELF) Telescope: new strategies for direct detection of exoplanet biosignatures and technosignatures. In: Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 10700, 107004I. SPIE. Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 10-15 June 2018, Austin, Texas; USA. doi: 10.1117/12.2313781.

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The Exo-Life Finder (ELF) will be an optical system with the resolving power of a ≥20m telescope optimized for characterizing exoplanets and detecting exolife. It will allow for direct detection of Earth-size planets in commonly-considered water-based habitable zones (WHZ) of nearby stars and for generic exolife studies. Here we discuss capabilities of the ELF to detect biosignatures and technosignatures in exoplanetary atmospheres and on their surfaces in the visual and near infrared. We evaluate sensitivity limits for mid- and low-resolution spectral, photometric and polarimetric measurements, analyzed using atmosphere models and light-curve inversions. In particular, we model and estimate integration times required to detect O2, O3, CO2, CH4, H2O and other biosignature gases and habitability markers. Disequilibrium biosignature pairs such as O2+CH4 or CO2+CH4–CO are also explored. Photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic pigments are other important biosignatures that ELF will search for in atmospheres and on resolved surfaces of exoplanets, in the form of bioaerosols and colonies of organisms. Finally, possible artificial structures on exoplanet surfaces and in near-exoplanet space can be detected. Practical instrument requirements are formulated for detecting these spectral and structural biosignatures and technosignatures. It is imperative that such a study is applied first to characterize the nearest exoplanet Proxima b, then to search for exo-Earths in the Alpha Cen A and B system and other near-Sun stars, and finally to explore larger exoplanets around more distant stars.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/123526/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Exo-Life Finder (ELF) Telescope: new strategies for direct detection of exoplanet biosignatures and technosignatures
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Berdyugina, S.V.KIS, Freiburg, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Kuhn, J.R.Inst. Astron., Uni. Hawaii, USAUNSPECIFIED
Langlois, M.CRAL; Uni. Lyon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Moretto, G.CRAL; Uni. Lyon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Krissansen-Totton, J.Astrobiology Program, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington , Seattle, WA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Catling, DNASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA 94043, USAUNSPECIFIED
Santi-Temkiv, T.SAC, Aarhus Uni., DenmarkUNSPECIFIED
Finster, K.SETI, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Tarter, J.SETI, California, USAUNSPECIFIED
Marchis, F.University of California at Berkeley, Department of Astronomy, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USAUNSPECIFIED
Hargitai, HendrikNASA Ames Research Center/ NPP, MS 239-20, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USAUNSPECIFIED
Apai, D.Steward Obs., Uni. Arizona, USAUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:107004I
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Keywords:Extremely large telescopes, exoplanets, exolife, biosignatures, technosignatures, Exo-Life Finder (ELF)
Event Title:Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII
Event Location:Austin, Texas; USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:10-15 June 2018
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt COROT Beteiligung (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Schubert, Renate
Deposited On:22 Nov 2018 09:36
Last Modified:07 Mar 2019 15:06

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