Evaluating the end-to-end performance of TPF-C with vector propagation models: Part I - Pupil mask effects

Mike Lieber, A. R. Neureuther, Dan Ceperley, Jeremy Kasdin, Dan Hoppe, Allan Eisenman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Terestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission to search for exo-solar planets is extremely challenging both technically and from a performance modeling perspective. For the visible light coronagraph (the C) approach, the requirements for 1e10 rejection of star light to planet signal has not yet been achieved in laboratory testing and full-scale ground testing provides additional challenges to overcome. Therefore, end-to-end performance modeling will be relied upon to fully predict system performance. One of the key technologies developed for achieving the rejection ratios uses shaped pupil masks to selectively cancel starlight in planet search regions by taking advantage of the diffraction. Modeling results published to date have been based upon scalar wavefront propagation theory to compute the residual star and planet images. This ignores the 3D structure of the mask and the coupled EM fields resulting when light interacts with matter. Secondly it ignores a most important engineering question which is how well the proposed wavefront control system can correct any effects introduced by mask/ light interactions. To address this problem we incorporate results from vector propagation through the masks. These fields, computed by the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method, are coupled into a TPF coronagraph integrated model and propagated end-to-end through the optical system. In this paper we build upon two recently published papers 1,2 and evaluate this additional disturbance to the far field image, discuss the interface with surface-to-surface propagators and set up the formulism for polarization effects. A follow-on paper, part II, results will be presented with a surface-to-surface Fourier-based propagator coupled to the difference field models which include corrections from a wavefront control system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59050K
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2005Aug 4 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • FDTD
  • Integrated modeling
  • Shaped pupil masks
  • TPF
  • Vector propagation


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