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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Shaped pupil Lyot coronagraphs: high-contrast solutions for restricted focal planes

Paper Abstract

Coronagraphs of the apodized pupil and shaped pupil varieties use the Fraunhofer diffraction properties of amplitude masks to create regions of high contrast in the vicinity of a target star. Here we present a hybrid coronagraph architecture in which a binary, hard-edged shaped pupil mask replaces the gray, smooth apodizer of the apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph (APLC). For any contrast and bandwidth goal in this configuration, as long as the prescribed region of contrast is restricted to a finite area in the image, a shaped pupil is the apodizer with the highest transmission. We relate the starlight cancellation mechanism to that of the conventional APLC. We introduce a new class of solutions in which the amplitude profile of the Lyot stop, instead of being fixed as a padded replica of the telescope aperture, is jointly optimized with the apodizer. Finally, we describe shaped pupil Lyot coronagraph (SPLC) designs for the baseline architecture of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope–Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA) coronagraph. These SPLCs help to enable two scientific objectives of the WFIRST-AFTA mission: (1) broadband spectroscopy to characterize exoplanet atmospheres in reflected starlight and (2) debris disk imaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 January 2016
PDF: 21 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 2(1) 011012 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011012
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 2, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Neil T. Zimmerman, Princeton Univ. (United States)
A. J. Eldorado Riggs, Princeton Univ. (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Alexis Carlotti, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (France)
Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)


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