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Proceedings Paper

High contrast vacuum nuller testbed (VNT) contrast, performance, and null control
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Paper Abstract

Herein we report on our Visible Nulling Coronagraph high-contrast result of 109 contrast averaged over a focal plane region extending from 1 – 4 λ/D with the Vacuum Nuller Testbed (VNT) in a vibration isolated vacuum chamber. The VNC is a hybrid interferometric/coronagraphic approach for exoplanet science. It operates with high Lyot stop efficiency for filled, segmented and sparse or diluted-aperture telescopes, thereby spanning the range of potential future NASA flight telescopes. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has a well-established effort to develop the VNC and its technologies, and has developed an incremental sequence of VNC testbeds to advance this approach and its enabling technologies. These testbeds have enabled advancement of high-contrast, visible light, nulling interferometry to unprecedented levels. The VNC is based on a modified Mach-Zehnder nulling interferometer, with a “W” configuration to accommodate a hex-packed MEMS based deformable mirror, a coherent fiber bundle and achromatic phase shifters. We give an overview of the VNT and discuss the high-contrast laboratory results, the optical configuration, critical technologies and null sensing and control.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 844208 (21 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926889
Show Author Affiliations
Richard G. Lyon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mark Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Peter Petrone, Sigma Space Corp. (United States)
Udayan Mallik, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Timothy Madison, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Matthew R. Bolcar, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8442:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Mark C. Clampin; Giovanni G. Fazio; Howard A. MacEwen; Jacobus M. Oschmann, Editor(s)

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