Optimal wavefront estimation of incoherent sources

A. J.Eldorado Riggs, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Tyler Groff

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

6 Scopus citations


Direct imaging is in general necessary to characterize exoplanets and disks. A coronagraph is an instrument used to create a dim (high-contrast) region in a star's PSF where faint companions can be detected. All coronagraphic high-contrast imaging systems use one or more deformable mirrors (DMs) to correct quasi-static aberrations and recover contrast in the focal plane. Simulations show that existing wavefront control algorithms can correct for diffracted starlight in just a few iterations, but in practice tens or hundreds of control iterations are needed to achieve high contrast. The discrepancy largely arises from the fact that simulations have perfect knowledge of the wavefront and DM actuation. Thus, wavefront correction algorithms are currently limited by the quality and speed of wavefront estimates. Exposures in space will take orders of magnitude more time than any calculations, so a nonlinear estimation method that needs fewer images but more computational time would be advantageous. In addition, current wavefront correction routines seek only to reduce diffracted starlight. Here we present nonlinear estimation algorithms that include optimal estimation of sources incoherent with a star such as exoplanets and debris disks.

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


  • Coronagraphy
  • Deformable Mirrors
  • Exoplanets
  • High Contrast
  • Wavefront Control
  • Wavefront Estimation


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