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Proceedings Paper

Vector wavefront propagation modeling for the TPF coronagraph
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Paper Abstract

The TPF mission to search for exo-solar planets is extremely challenging both technically and from a performance modeling perspective. For the visible light coronagraph approach, the requirements for 1e10 rejection of star light to planet signal has not yet been achieved in laboratory testing and full-scale testing on the ground has many more obstacles and may not be possible. Therefore, end-to-end performance modeling will be relied upon to fully predict performance. One of the key technologies developed for achieving the rejection ratios uses shaped pupil masks to selectively cancel starlight in planet search regions by taking advantage of diffraction. Modeling results published to date have been based upon scalar wavefront propagation theory to compute the residual star and planet images. This ignores the 3D structure of the mask and the interaction of light with matter. In this paper we discuss previous work with a system model of the TPF coronagraph and propose an approach for coupling in a vector propagation model using the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method. This method, implemented in a software package called TEMPEST, allows us to propagate wavefronts through a mask structure to an integrated system model to explore the vector propagation aspects of the problem. We can then do rigorous mask scatter modeling to understand the effects of real physical mask structures on the magnitude, phase, polarization, and wavelength dependence of the transmitted light near edges. Shaped mask technology is reviewed, and computational aspects and interface issues to a TPF integrated system model are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5487, Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telescopes, (12 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550742
Show Author Affiliations
Michael D. Lieber, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Andrew R. Neureuther, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
Dan Ceperley, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Nikolay Ter-Gabrielyan, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5487:
Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telescopes
John C. Mather, Editor(s)

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