Lyot coronagraph design study for large, segmented space telescope apertures

Neil T. Zimmerman, Mamadou N'Diaye, Kathryn E. StLaurent, Rémi Soummer, Laurent Pueyo, Christopher C. Stark, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Marshall Perrin, Robert J. Vanderbei, N. J. Kasdin, Stuart Shaklan, Alexis Carlotti

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

30 Scopus citations


Recent efforts combining the optimization techniques of apodized pupil Lyot coronagraphs (APLC) and shaped pupils have demonstrated the viability of a binary-transmission mask architecture for extremely high contrast (10-10) exoplanet imaging. We are now building on those innovations to carry out a survey of Lyot coronagraph performance for large, segmented telescope apertures. These apertures are of the same kind under considera- tion for NASA's Large UV/Optical/IR (LUVOIR) observatory concept. To map the multi-dimensional design parameter space, we have developed a software toolkit to manage large sets of mask optimization programs and execute them on a computing cluster. Here we summarize a preliminary survey of 500 APLC solutions for 4 reference hexagonal telescope apertures. Several promising designs produce annular, 10-10 contrast dark zones down to inner working angle 4λ0=D over a 15% bandpass, while delivering a half-max PSF core throughput of 18%. We also report our progress on devising solutions to the challenges of Lyot stop alignment/fabrication tolerance that arise in this contrast regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsHoward A. MacEwen, Makenzie Lystrup, Giovanni G. Fazio
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601871
StatePublished - 2016
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

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


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Coronagraph
  • Exoplanet
  • High-contrast imaging
  • Segmented mirror
  • Space telescope


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