Three years of harvest with the vector vortex coronagraph in the thermal infrared
For several years, we have been developing vortex phase masks based on sub-wavelength gratings, known as Annular Groove Phase Masks. Etched onto diamond substrates, these AGPMs are currently designed to be used in the thermal infrared (ranging from 3 to 13 μm). Our AGPMs were first installed on VLT/NACO and VLT/VISIR in 2012, followed by LBT/LMIRCam in 2013 and Keck/NIRC2 in 2015. In this paper, we review the development, commissioning, on-sky performance, and early scientific results of these new coronagraphic modes and report on the lessons learned. We conclude with perspectives for future developments and applications.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We thank P. Baudoz and J. Parisot for maintaining and sharing with us the YACADIRE coronagraphic test bench at Observatoire de Paris-Meudon. We also thank all the people involved in the installation, commissioning, and operations of the AGPM at VLT, LBT, and Keck. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (ERC Grant Agreement n. 337569), and from the French Community of Belgium through an ARC grant for Concerted Research Action. The W. M. Keck Observatory is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. The LBTI is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of its Exoplanet Exploration Program. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia. This research was supported by NASA's Origins of Solar Systems Program, grant NNX13AJ17G.
Submitted - 1607.05003.pdf
Published - 99080Q.pdf