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Towards 1010 Contrast for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission: Demonstration of High Contrast in a Shaped-Pupil Coronagraph at Princeton

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2006

Ruslan Belikov
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Present address: Princeton University, MAE Dept., Olden St, Princeton, NJ08544 email: rbelikov@princeton.edu
James Beall
Affiliation:
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO
Michael Carr
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Amir Give'on
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Jason Kay
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Taofik Kolade
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Michael Littman
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Frank Mycroft
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Laurent Pueyo
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Robert J. Vanderbei
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
N. Jeremy Kasdin
Affiliation:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
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Abstract

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Our group at Princeton University is developing the Shaped-Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) as a solution to the high contrast imaging requirements for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. At the heart of the SPC is a specially designed shaped mask at the pupil plane, and a star occulter at the image plane. We report a measurement of $10^{5}$ contrast at 4 $\lambda/D$ and $10^{6}$ at 7 $\lambda/D$, with no adaptive optics corrections. This contrast is maintained at laser wavelengths of 532, 594, and 632nm, and for broadband light from at least 550nm to 750nm. The contrast is almost certainly limited by wavefront aberrations in the mirrors. Indeed, the level and general structure of the speckles in the high contrast region is consistent with statistical simulations of our optics.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
© 2006 International Astronomical Union