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Proceedings Paper

Performance of a coronagraph on the AEOS 3.6-m adaptive optics telescope
Author(s): Patrick T. Ryan; Scott Milster; Jack D. Drummond
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Paper Abstract

Adaptive optics (AO) is useful in correcting the blurring effects of the atmosphere responsible for most energy in the halo of the point spread function. A coronagraph can further enhance faint companion searches by reducing the diffraction rings surrounding a well corrected image peak. Here, we use a coronagraph on the Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex (MSSC) to test these benefits. The spatial characteristics of the scattered energy produced at AEOS are explored from the viewpoint of searching for faint stellar companions. The benefit of using AO is found to be 3 to 4.5 stellar magnitudes for a ten second integration time at 1 to 2 microns, with the most benefit at radial distances less than one arcsecond. More advanced AO/coronagraphic systems should be able to produce even better results. Using AO and a coronagraph should be strongly considered when attempting to image faint companions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 4860, High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457648
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick T. Ryan, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Scott Milster, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jack D. Drummond, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4860:
High-Contrast Imaging for Exo-Planet Detection
Alfred B. Schultz; Richard G. Lyon, Editor(s)

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