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Proceedings Paper

Apodized pupil Lyot coronagraphs designs for future segmented space telescopes
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Paper Abstract

A coronagraphic starlight suppression system situated on a future flagship space observatory offers a promising avenue to image Earth-like exoplanets and search for biomarkers in their atmospheric spectra. One NASA mission concept that could serve as the platform to realize this scientific breakthrough is the Large UV/Optical/IR Surveyor (LUVOIR). Such a mission would also address a broad range of topics in astrophysics with a multiwavelength suite of instruments. The apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph (APLC) is one of several coronagraph design families that the community is assessing as part of NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program Segmented aperture coronagraph design and analysis (SCDA) team. The APLC is a Lyot-style coronagraph that suppresses starlight through a series of amplitude operations on the on-axis field. Given a suite of seven plausible segmented telescope apertures, we have developed an object-oriented software toolkit to automate the exploration of thousands of APLC design parameter combinations. This has enabled us to empirically establish relationships between planet throughput and telescope aperture geometry, inner working angle, bandwidth, and contrast level. In parallel with the parameter space exploration, we have investigated several strategies to improve the robustness of APLC designs to fabrication and alignment errors. We also investigate the combination of APLC with wavefront control or complex focal plane masks to improve inner working angle and throughput. Preliminary scientific yield evaluations based on design reference mission simulations indicate the APLC is a very competitive concept for surveying the local exoEarth population with a mission like LUVOIR.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2018
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106982W (16 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313902
Show Author Affiliations
Kathryn St. Laurent, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Kevin Fogarty, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Neil T. Zimmerman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mamadou N'Diaye, Observatoire de Nice Côte d' Azur (France)
Christopher C. Stark, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Johan Mazoyer, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Laurent Pueyo, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Stuart Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Rémi Soummer, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10698:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Makenzie Lystrup; Howard A. MacEwen; Giovanni G. Fazio; Natalie Batalha; Nicholas Siegler; Edward C. Tong, Editor(s)

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