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Testbed demonstration of high-contrast coronagraph imaging in search for Earth-like exoplanets

Seo, Byoung-Joon and Patterson, Keith and Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham and Crill, Brendan and Chui, Talso and Echeverri, Daniel and Kern, Brian and Marx, David and Moody, Dwight and Prada, Camilo Mejia and Ruane, Garreth and Shi, Fang and Shaw, John and Siegler, Nick and Tang, Hong and Trauger, John and Wilson, Daniel and Zimmer, Robert (2019) Testbed demonstration of high-contrast coronagraph imaging in search for Earth-like exoplanets. In: Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX. Proceedings of SPIE. No.11117. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 111171V. ISBN 9781510629271.

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Direct imaging of an Earth-like exoplanet requires starlight suppression with a contrast ratio on the order of 1 x 10⁻¹⁰ at small angular separations of 100 milliarcseconds or less in visible light with more than 50 nm bandwidth. To our knowledge, the technology needed to achieve the contrast and stability has not been demonstrated as of January 2019. The science requirements for near future NASA missions such as James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) coronagraph and Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) are at least 10 times short. To investigate and guide the technology to reach this capability, we built a high contrast coronagraph testbed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Titled the Decadal Survey Testbed (DST), state-of-art testbed is based on the accumulated experience of JPL’s High Contrast Imaging Testbed (HCIT) team. Currently, the DST hosts a Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) with an unobscured, circular pupil. The DST also has two deformable mirrors and is equipped with the Low Order Wavefront Sensing and Control (LOWFS/C) subsystem to sense and correct the dynamic wavefront disturbances. In this paper, we present up-to-date progress of the testbed demonstration. As of January 2019, we repeatedly obtain convergence below 4 × 10⁻¹⁰ mean contrast with 10% broadband light centered at 550 nm in a 360 degrees dark hole with a working angle between 3 λ/D and 9 λ/D. We show the key elements used in the testbed and the performance results with associated analysis.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Crill, Brendan0000-0002-4650-8518
Echeverri, Daniel0000-0002-1583-2040
Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Additional Information:© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). We would like to acknowledge funding from NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Office, in addition to contributions small and large from the broader WFIRST-CGI, HCIT, and MDL teams.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:instrumentation, exoplanets, direct detection, coronagraphs
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:11117
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200227-101638370
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Official Citation:Byoung-Joon Seo, Keith Patterson, Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Brendan Crill, Talso Chui, Daniel Echeverri, Brian Kern, David Marx, Dwight Moody, Camilo Mejia Prada, Garreth Ruane, Fang Shi, John Shaw, Nick Siegler, Hong Tang, John Trauger, Daniel Wilson, and Robert Zimmer "Testbed demonstration of high-contrast coronagraph imaging in search for Earth-like exoplanets", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171V (16 September 2019);
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101612
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Feb 2020 19:53
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:04

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