Towards 1010 contrast for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission: Demonstration of high contrast in a shaped-pupil coronagraph at Princeton

Ruslan Belikov, James Beall, Michael Carr, Amir Give'on, Jason Kay, Taofik Kolade, Michael Littman, Frank Mycroft, Laurent Pueyo, Robert J. Vanderbei, N. Jeremy Kasdin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our group at Princeton University is developing the Shaped-Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) as a solution to the high contrast imaging requirements for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. At the heart of the SPC is a specially designed shaped mask at the pupil plane, and a star occulter at the image plane. We report a measurement of 105 contrast at 4 λ/D and 106 at 7 λ/D, with no adaptive optics corrections. This contrast is maintained at laser wavelengths of 532, 594, and 632nm, and for broadband light from at least 550nm to 750nm. The contrast is almost certainly limited by wavefront aberrations in the mirrors. Indeed, the level and general structure of the speckles in the high contrast region is consistent with statistical simulations of our optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Volume1
Issue numberC200
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Extraterrestrial intelligence
  • Instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • Instrumentation: high angular resolution
  • Methods: laboratory
  • Planets and satellites: general
  • Space vehicles: instruments
  • Stars: planetary systems

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