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Proceedings Paper

Testing of a high-contrast imaging coronagraph based on an active liquid crystal array
Author(s): Xi Zhang; Deqing Ren; Yongtian Zhu; Jiangpei Dou; Xue Wang
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Paper Abstract

Liquid crystal modulator is an active optical component that is promising to replace traditional passive optical components. For high-contrast imaging coronagraphs that are used for direct imaging of extra-solar planets, passive coronagraph optical components are often adopted. It is impossible to actively optimize such a coronagraph system to achieve its best performance. Thus we've proposed a novel high-contrast imaging coronagraph which uses a liquid crystal array (LCA) for pupil apodizing. In our test, the LCA is well calibrated for amplitude errors and amplitude non-uniformity with the entire coronagraph optics. Close-loop compensations are applied according to the amplitude calibration results. By doing so, a contrast of 10-4 or 10-5 can be achieved in an angular distance down to 3~5λ/D, which can be used for the direct imaging for young and Jupiter-like planets. The contrast can be further improved if a deformable mirror (DM) is deployed to correct wave-front errors induced by the LCA and the coronagraph optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 December 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8197, 2011 International Conference on Optical Instruments and Technology: Optical Systems and Modern Optoelectronic Instruments, 81970M (5 December 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.916666
Show Author Affiliations
Xi Zhang, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Key Lab. of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Graduate Univ. of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Deqing Ren, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Key Lab. of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
California State Univ., Northridge (United States)
Yongtian Zhu, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Key Lab. of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Jiangpei Dou, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Key Lab. of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Xue Wang, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Key Lab. of Astronomical Optics & Technology (China)
Graduate Univ. of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8197:
2011 International Conference on Optical Instruments and Technology: Optical Systems and Modern Optoelectronic Instruments
Yongtian Wang; Yunlong Sheng; Han-Ping Shieh; Kimio Tatsuno, Editor(s)

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