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High-contrast Demonstration of an Apodized Vortex Coronagraph

Llop-Sayson, Jorge and Ruane, Garreth and Mawet, Dimitri and Jovanovic, Nemanja and Coker, Carl T. and Delorme, Jacques-Robert and Echeverri, Daniel and Fucik, Jason and Riggs, A. J. Eldorado and Wallace, J. Kent (2020) High-contrast Demonstration of an Apodized Vortex Coronagraph. Astronomical Journal, 159 (3). Art. No. 79. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab6329.

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High-contrast imaging is the primary path to the direct detection and characterization of Earth-like planets around solar-type stars; a cleverly designed internal coronagraph suppresses the light from the star, revealing the elusive circumstellar companions. However, future large-aperture telescopes (>4 m in diameter) will likely have segmented primary mirrors, which cause additional diffraction of unwanted stellar light. Here we present the first high-contrast laboratory demonstration of an apodized vortex coronagraph, in which an apodizer is placed upstream of a vortex focal plane mask to improve its performance with a segmented aperture. The gray-scale apodization is numerically optimized to yield a better sensitivity to faint companions assuming an aperture shape similar to the LUVOIR-B concept. Using wavefront sensing and control over a one-sided dark hole, we achieve a raw contrast of 2 × 10⁻⁸ in monochromatic light at 775 nm, and a raw contrast of 4 × 10⁻⁸ in a 10% bandwidth. These results open the path to a new family of coronagraph designs, optimally suited for next-generation segmented space telescopes.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Coker, Carl T.0000-0002-9954-7887
Echeverri, Daniel0000-0002-1583-2040
Riggs, A. J. Eldorado0000-0002-0863-6228
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2019 November 1; revised 2019 December 7; accepted 2019 December 16; published 2020 February 3. The first author J.L.S. is partially supported by the National Science Foundation AST-ATI Grant 1710210. Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Exoplanets ; Coronographic imaging ; Direct imaging ; Space telescopes
Issue or Number:3
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Exoplanets (498); Direct imaging (387); Space telescopes (1547)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-092720940
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jorge Llop-Sayson et al 2020 AJ 159 79
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101057
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 18:52
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:58

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