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Proceedings Paper

Astronomical near-neighbor detection with a four-quadrant phase mask (FQPM) coronagraph
Author(s): Pierre Haguenauer; Eugene Serabyn; Bertrand Mennesson; James K. Wallace; Robert O. Gappinger; Mitchell Troy; Eric E. Bloemhof; Jim Moore; Chris D. Koresko
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Paper Abstract

Direct detection of planets around nearby stars requires the development of high-contrast imaging techniques, because of their very different respective fluxes. We thus investigated the innovative coronagraphic approach based on the use of a four-quadrant phase mask (FQPM). Simulations showed that, combined with high-level wavefront correction on an unobscured off-axis section of a large telescope, this method allows high-contrast imaging very close to stars, with detection capability superior to that of a traditional coronagraph. A FQPM instrument was thus built to test the feasibility of near-neighbor observations with our new off-axis approach on a ground-based telescope. In June 2005, we deployed our instrument to the Palomar 200-inch telescope, using existing facilities as much as possible for rapid implementation. In these initial observations, using data processing techniques specific to FQPM coronagraphs, we reached extinction levels of the order of 200:1. Here we discuss our simulations and on-sky results obtained so far.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62651G (13 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672595
Show Author Affiliations
Pierre Haguenauer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eugene Serabyn, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Bertrand Mennesson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James K. Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert O. Gappinger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mitchell Troy, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric E. Bloemhof, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jim Moore, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Chris D. Koresko, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6265:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
John C. Mather; Howard A. MacEwen; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw, Editor(s)

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