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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Interferometric nulling limits with tip-tilt-piston deformable mirrors and a pinhole spatial filter array
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Paper Abstract

We explore the use of hexagonal segment tip-tilt-piston deformable mirrors alone and paired with pinhole spatial filter arrays for high-order wavefront correction of nulling interferometers used for visible light study of exoplanetary systems at 107 to 1010 contrast within regions extending ∼0.1 to 6 arc s from a parent star. A similar system has been proposed using a single-mode fiber array as an alternative to using multiple deformable mirrors to correct both phase aberrations and balance electric field amplitude, the benefit being drastically reduced component and control complexity. Performance is compared using measured deformable mirror data for hexagonal arrays consisting of a number of rings NR=2 to 18, emphasizing the trade between throughput and the additional contrast gained from suppressing wavefront errors introduced by the deformable mirror at spatial frequencies Λ≥NR that are otherwise present in the image at corresponding field locations. Taking into account effects of loss of throughput and vignetting, the nulled signal-to-noise ratio is shown to improve for filtered systems in the outer portion of the field of view. Modeled performance shows no significant change in signal-to-noise in the inner field of view.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 October 2014
PDF: 11 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 1(1) 019001 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.1.019001
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Brian A. Hicks, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Supriya Chakrabarti, Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell (United States)
Timothy A. Cook, Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell (United States)


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