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The Vector Vortex Coronagraph: Laboratory Results and First Light at Palomar Observatory

Mawet, D. and Serabyn, E. and Liewer, K. and Burruss, R. and Hickey, J. and Shemo, D. (2010) The Vector Vortex Coronagraph: Laboratory Results and First Light at Palomar Observatory. Astrophysical Journal, 709 (1). pp. 53-57. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/709/1/53.

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High-contrast coronagraphy will be needed to image and characterize faint extrasolar planetary systems. Coronagraphy is a rapidly evolving field, and many enhanced alternatives to the classical Lyot coronagraph have been proposed in the past 10 years. Here, we discuss the operation of the vector vortex coronagraph, which is one of the most efficient possible coronagraphs. We first present recent laboratory results and then first light observations at the Palomar observatory. Our near-infrared H-band (centered at ~1.65 μm) and K-band (centered at ~2.2 μm) vector vortex devices demonstrated excellent contrast results in the lab, down to ~10^(–6) at an angular separation of ~3λ/d. On sky, we detected a brown dwarf companion 3000 times fainter than its host star (HR 7672) in the K_s band (centered at ~2.15 μm), at an angular separation of ~2.5λ/d. Current and next-generation high-contrast instruments can directly benefit from the demonstrated capabilities of such a vector vortex: simplicity, small inner working angle, high optical throughput (>90%), and maximal off-axis discovery space.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Mawet, D.0000-0002-8895-4735
Additional Information:© 2010 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 October 28; Accepted 2009 December 1; Published 2009 December 24. This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), under contract with NASA. D.M. is supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPL, Caltech, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. The data presented in this paper are based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a continuing collaboration between Caltech, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:brown dwarfs; instrumentation: adaptive optics; instrumentation: high angular resolution; techniques: high angular resolution
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150526-100838490
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Official Citation:The Vector Vortex Coronagraph: Laboratory Results and First Light at Palomar Observatory, D. Mawet et al. 2010 ApJ 709 53
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57804
Deposited On:26 May 2015 20:27
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:55

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