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Scalar vortex coronagraph mask design and predicted performance

Ruane, Garreth and Mawet, Dimitri and Riggs, A. J. Eldorado and Serabyn, Eugene (2019) Scalar vortex coronagraph mask design and predicted performance. 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. 111171F. ISBN 9781510629271.

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Vortex coronagraphs are an attractive solution for imaging exoplanets with future space telescopes due to their relatively high throughput, large spectral bandwidth, and low sensitivity to low-order aberrations compared to other coronagraphs with similar inner working angles. Most of the vortex coronagraph mask development for space applications has focused on generating a polychromatic, vectorial, optical vortex using multiple layers of liquid crystal polymers. While this approach has been the most successful thus far, current fabrication processes achieve retardance errors of 0.1-1.0°, which causes a nonnegligible fraction of the starlight to leak through the coronagraph. Circular polarizers are typically used to reject the stellar leakage reducing the throughput by a factor of two. Vector vortex masks also complicate wavefront control because they imprint conjugated phase ramps on the orthogonal circular polarization components, which may need to be split in order to properly sense and suppress the starlight. Scalar vortex masks can potentially circumvent these limitations by applying the same phase shift to all incident light regardless of the polarization state and thus have the potential to significantly improve the performance of vortex coronagraphs. We present scalar vortex coronagraph designs that make use of focal plane masks with multiple layers of dielectrics that (a) produce phase patterns that are relatively friendly to standard manufacturing processes and (b) achieve sufficient broadband starlight suppression, in theory, for imaging Earth-like planets with future space telescopes.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Riggs, A. J. Eldorado0000-0002-0863-6228
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).
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:High contrast imaging, instrumentation, exoplanets, direct detection, coronagraphs
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:11117
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190912-135301575
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Garreth Ruane, Dimitri Mawet, A.J. Eldorado Riggs, and Eugene Serabyn "Scalar vortex coronagraph mask design and predicted performance", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171F (9 September 2019);
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98617
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Sep 2019 21:55
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:40

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