Diffractive analysis of limits of an occulter experiment

Dan Sirbu, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Robert J. Vanderbei

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

8 Scopus citations


An external occulter is a specially-shaped spacecraft own along the line-of-sight of a space telescope to block starlight before reaching its entrance pupil. Using optimization methods, occulter shapes can be designed to most effectively block starlight. A full-scale occulter cannot be tested on the ground and its performance must be predicted; therefore the fidelity of the optical propagation models used for design and performance prediction must be verified under scaled conditions. In this paper we present both contrast and suppression laboratory measurements for a scaled occulter, and perform a diffractive analysis to determine the factors limiting performance of the laboratory occulter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsJacobus M. Oschmann, Mark Clampin, Howard A. MacEwen, Giovanni G. Fazio
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496119
StatePublished - 2014
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • External Occulters
  • High Contrast Imaging
  • Optical Verification
  • Optimization
  • Scalar Diffraction


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