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Testbed demonstration of high-contrast coronagraph imaging in search for Earth-like exoplanets
Author(s): Byoung-Joon Seo; Keith Patterson; Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian; Brendan Crill; Talso Chui; Daniel Echeverri; Brian Kern; David Marx; Dwight Moody; Camilo Mejia Prada; Garreth Ruane; Fang Shi; John Shaw; Nick Siegler; Hong Tang; John Trauger; Daniel Wilson; Robert Zimmer
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Paper Abstract

Direct imaging of an Earth-like exoplanet requires starlight suppression with a contrast ratio on the order of 1 ♦ 10-10 at small angular separations of 100 milliarcseconds or less in visible light with more than 50 nm bandwidth. To our knowledge, the technology needed to achieve the contrast and stability has not been demonstrated as of January 2019. The science requirements for near future NASA missions such as James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) coronagraph and Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) are at least 10 times short. To investigate and guide the technology to reach this capability, we built a high contrast coronagraph testbed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Titled the Decadal Survey Testbed (DST), state-of-art testbed is based on the accumulated experience of JPL’s High Contrast Imaging Testbed (HCIT) team. Currently, the DST hosts a Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) with an unobscured, circular pupil. The DST also has two deformable mirrors and is equipped with the Low Order Wavefront Sensing and Control (LOWFS/C) subsystem to sense and correct the dynamic wavefront disturbances. In this paper, we present up-to-date progress of the testbed demonstration. As of January 2019, we repeatedly obtain convergence below 4 × 10-10 mean contrast with 10% broadband light centered at 550 nm in a 360 degrees dark hole with a working angle between 3 λ/D and 9 λ/D. We show the key elements used in the testbed and the performance results with associated analysis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171V (16 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2530033
Show Author Affiliations
Byoung-Joon Seo, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Keith Patterson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brendan Crill, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Talso Chui, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Daniel Echeverri, Caltech (United States)
Brian Kern, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Marx, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dwight Moody, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Camilo Mejia Prada, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Garreth Ruane, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Fang Shi, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John Shaw, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Nick Siegler, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hong Tang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John Trauger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Daniel Wilson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert Zimmer, 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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