Technology development towards WFIRST-AFTA coronagraph

Ilya Poberezhskiy, Feng Zhao, Xin An, Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Ruslan Belikov, Eric Cady, Richard Demers, Rosemary Diaz, Qian Gong, Brian Gordon, Renaud Goullioud, Frank Greer, Olivier Guyon, Michael Hoenk, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Brian Kern, John Krist, Andreas Kuhnert, Michael McElwain, Bertrand MennessonDwight Moody, Richard Muller, Bijan Nemati, Keith Patterson, A. J. Riggs, Daniel Ryan, Byoung Joon Seo, Stuart Shaklan, Erkin Sidick, Fang Shi, Nicholas Siegler, Rémi Soummer, Hong Tang, John Trauger, J. Kent Wallace, Xu Wang, Victor White, Daniel Wilson, Karl Yee, Hanying Zhou, Neil Zimmerman

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

27 Scopus citations


NASA's WFIRST-AFTA mission concept includes the first high-contrast stellar coronagraph in space. This coronagraph will be capable of directly imaging and spectrally characterizing giant exoplanets similar to Neptune and Jupiter, and possibly even super-Earths, around nearby stars. In this paper we present the plan for maturing coronagraph technology to TRL5 in 2014-2016, and the results achieved in the first 6 months of the technology development work. The specific areas that are discussed include coronagraph testbed demonstrations in static and simulated dynamic environment, design and fabrication of occulting masks and apodizers used for starlight suppression, low-order wavefront sensing and control subsystem, deformable mirrors, ultra-low-noise spectrograph detector, and data post-processing.

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


  • Deformable mirror
  • Exoplanet direct imaging
  • Exoplanet spectral characterization
  • Hybrid lyot coronagraph
  • Integral field spectrograph
  • Low order wavefront sensor
  • Shaped pupil coronagraph
  • Stellar coronagraph


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