Unified coronagraph and wavefront control design

N. Jeremy Kasdin, A. Carlotti, L. Pueyo, T. Groff, R. Vanderbei

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

2 Scopus citations


Numerous coronagraph designs for high-contrast imaging in space have been proposed, differentiated by various performance metrics, such as throughput, inner working angle, bandwidth, ease of implementation (a surrogate for cost), sensitivity, and robustness. In all cases, the performance of the coronagraph is limited by wavefront aberrations in the system, necessitating a deformable mirror (DM) wavefront control system. Traditionally, coronagraphs are designed to achieve the targeted contrast assuming perfect optics, then combined with the controller to correct aberrations in a small dark hole reachable by the DMs. This paper shows how all coronagraphs adjust amplitude and are thus limited by amplitude errors. We propose a unified design approach where the coronagraph is only designed to achieve contrast to the level determined by the amplitude error and in a dark hole consistent with the wavefront controller. The deformable mirrors are then used with the already existing algorithms to generate the remainder of the dark hole. We show new shaped pupil designs with much increased throughput and smaller inner working angles consistent with this approach. These new designs can also be used with on-axis and segmented telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V
StatePublished - 2011
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 23 2011Aug 24 2011

Publication series

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


OtherTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • High-contrast imaging
  • coronagraphs
  • exoplanets
  • wavefront control


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