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Proceedings Paper

Coronagraph project with the SPICA mission
Author(s): K. Enya; L. Abe; S. Tanaka; K. Haze; M. Venet; T. Nakagawa; H. Kataza; M. Tamura; J. Nishikawa; N. Murakami; K. Fujita; Y. Itoh; O. Guyon; E. A. Pluzhnik; T. Wakayama; T. Sato; N. Nakagiri
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Paper Abstract

We present the status of the development of a coronagraph for the Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA). SPICA is the next generation of infrared space-borne telescope missions following to AKARI, led by Japan. SPICA will carry a telescope that has a 3.5 m diameter monolithic primary mirror and the whole telescope will be cooled to 4.5 K. It is planned to launch SPICA into the sun-earth L2 libration halo orbit using H II-A rocket in the middle of the 2010s and execute infrared observations at wavelengths mainly between 5 and 200 micron. The SPICA mission gives us a unique opportunity for coronagraph observations, because of the large telescope aperture, the simple pupil shape, the capability of infrared observations from space, and the early launch. We have started development of the SPICA coronagraph in which the primary target is direct observation of extra-solar Jovian planets. The main wavelengths of observation, the required contrast and the inner working angle (IWA) of the SPICA coronagraph instrument are set to be 5-27 micron, 10-6, and a few λ/D (and as small as possible), respectively, in which λ is the observation wavelength and D is the diameter of the telescope aperture (3.5m). We focused on a coronagraph with a binary shaped pupil mask as the primary candidate for SPICA because of its feasibility. Nano-fabrication technology using electron beam lithography was applied to manufacture a high precision mask and a laboratory experiment with a He-Ne laser (λ=632.8nm) was performed in air without active wavefront control. The raw contrast derived from the average measured in the dark region reached 6.7×10-8. On the other hand, a study of Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) was started in an attempt to achieve higher performance, i.e., smaller IWA and higher throughput. A hybrid solution using PIAA and a shaped pupil mask was proposed. A laboratory experiment was performed using a He- Ne laser with active wavefront control via a 32×32 channel deformable mirror. A raw contrast of 6.5×10-7 was achieved. Designs of binary shaped pupil mask are presented for the actual SPICA pupil which is obstructed by the telescope's secondary mirror and its support. Subtraction of point spread function (PSF) was also evaluated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6693, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III, 66930I (19 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.733707
Show Author Affiliations
K. Enya, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
L. Abe, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
S. Tanaka, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
K. Haze, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
M. Venet, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
T. Nakagawa, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
H. Kataza, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
M. Tamura, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
J. Nishikawa, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
N. Murakami, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
K. Fujita, Kobe Univ. (Japan)
Y. Itoh, Kobe Univ. (Japan)
O. Guyon, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/Subaru Telescope (Japan)
E. A. Pluzhnik, Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
T. Wakayama, Nanotechnology Research Institute (Japan)
T. Sato, Nanotechnology Research Institute (Japan)
N. Nakagiri, Nanotechnology Research Institute (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6693:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets III
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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