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Directly constraining low-order aberration sensitivities in the WFIRST coronagraph design
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Paper Abstract

To image and spectrally characterize exoplanets in the coming decades, coronagraphs are being developed for several high-contrast, space-based mission concepts. The first planned mission is the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI), which will demonstrate key coronagraphic technologies for the first time in space. Early research on WFIRST coronagraph designs focused on overcoming diffraction from the large pupil obscurations. Our latest work has been to optimize coronagraphs at the system level, making them more robust to low-order aberrations from telescope dynamics and polarization aberrations. In this paper, we show how to modify coronagraph optimization formulations to directly suppress sensitivities to low-order Zernike modes, in particular tip/tilt. We find and characterize the trade between throughput and tip/tilt sensitivity for shaped pupil Lyot coronagraphs. For coronagraph designs using deformable mirrors, we find that tip/tilt sensitivity can be improved by one to two orders of magnitude at small working angles without sacrificing any throughput. These results may help WFIRST to overcome residual pointing jitter from its reaction wheels and future large-aperture observatories to be less sensitive to resolved stellar diameters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111170F (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2529588
Show Author Affiliations
A.J. Eldorado Riggs, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Garreth Ruane, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brian D. Kern, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11117:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX
Stuart B. Shaklan, Editor(s)

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