Optimal shaped pupil coronagraphs for extrasolar planet finding

N. Jeremy Kasdin, Robert J. Vanderbei, David N. Spergel, Michael G. Littman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We examine several different approaches to achieving high contrast imaging of extrasolar planets. Rather than controlling the diffracted light by masking the star's image as in a classical coronagraph, we use the pupil's transmission function to focus the starlight. There are two broad classes of pupil coronagraphs examined in this paper: apodized pupils with spatially varying transmission functions and shaped pupils, whose transmission values are either 0 or 1. The latter are much easier to manufacture to the needed tolerances. This paper introduces several new shaped pupils and applies integration time and other metrics to them as well as to apodized pupils. These new designs can achieve nearly as high a throughput as the best apodized pupils and perform significantly better than the apodized square aperture design. The new shaped pupils enable searches of 50% - 100% of the detectable region, suppress the star's light to below 10-10 of its peak value and have inner working distances as small as 2.8 λ/D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
EventHigh-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection - Waikoloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 23 2002Aug 26 2002

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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