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Proceedings Paper

Diffraction analysis of pupil mapping systems for planet finding
Author(s): Robert J. Vanderbei
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Paper Abstract

Pupil-mapping is a technique whereby a uniformly-illuminated input pupil, such as from starlight, can be mapped into a non-uniformly illuminated exit pupil, such that the image formed from this pupil will have suppressed sidelobes, many orders of magnitude weaker than classical Airy ring intensities. Pupil mapping is therefore a candidate technique for coronagraphic imaging of extrasolar planets around nearby stars. Pupil mapping is lossless and preserves the full angular resolution of the collecting telescope. Prior analyses based on pupil-to-pupil ray-tracing indicate that a planet fainter than 10-10 times its parent star, and as close as about 2λ/D, could be detectable. In this paper, we describe the results of careful diffraction analysis of pupil mapping systems. These results reveal a serious unresolved issue. Namely, high-contrast pupil mappings distribute light from very near the edge of the first pupil to a broad area of the second pupil thereby dramatically amplifying diffraction-based edge effects resulting in a limiting attainable contrast of about 10−5. We provide two hybrid designs that provide partial solutions to this problem but a complete resolution remains open.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5905, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets II, 590517 (31 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617394
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5905:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets II
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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