A method for modifying occulter shapes

Eric Cady, Stuart B. Shaklan, N. Jeremy Kasdin, David Spergel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


An occulter is an instrument designed to suppress starlight by diffraction from its edges; most are designed to be circular, with a set of identical "petals" running around the outside. Proposed space-based occulters are lightweight, deployed screens tens of meters in diameter with challenging accuracy requirements. We describe a general method for modifying the shape of an occulter to accommodate engineering considerations and show how to calculate the resulting wavefront. This method can be used to place hinges and tensioning elements between petals, to reduce tolerancing requirements by allowing gaps between petals to be moved elsewhere, and to potentially reduce the number of petals required on an occulter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV
StatePublished - 2009
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2009Aug 5 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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