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Proceedings Paper

Virtual wavefront compensation and speckle reduction in coronagraph by unbalanced nulling interferometer (UNI) and phase and amplitude correction (PAC)
Author(s): J. Nishikawa; K. Yokochi; L. Abe; N. Murakami; T. Kotani; M. Tamura; T. Kurokawa; A. V. Tavrov; M. Takeda
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Paper Abstract

We proposed a novel method based on a pre-optics setup that behaves partly as a low-efficiency coronagraph, and partly as a high-sensitivity wavefront aberration compensator (phase and amplitude). The combination of the two effects results in a highly accurate corrected wavefront. First, an (intensity-) unbalanced nulling interferometer (UNI) performs a rejection of part of the wavefront electric field. Then the recombined output wavefront has its input aberrations magnified. Because of the unbalanced recombination scheme, aberrations can be free of phase singular points (zeros) and can therefore be compensated by a downstream phase and amplitude correction (PAC) adaptive optics system, using two deformable mirrors. In the image plane, the central star's peak intensity and the noise level of its speckled halo are reduced by the UNI-PAC combination: the output-corrected wavefront aberrations can be interpreted as an improved compensation of the initial (eventually already corrected) incident wavefront aberrations. The important conclusion is that not all the elements in the optical setup using UNI-PAC need to reach the lambda/10000 rms surface error quality. In the experiments, we observed the aberration magnification of more than 5 times and compensated to about lambda/70 rms which is the current limit of the AO system. This means that we reached to lambda/350 level virtually. We observed the speckle reduction in the focal plane with a coronagraph.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70102A (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788895
Show Author Affiliations
J. Nishikawa, NAOJ (Japan)
K. Yokochi, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
L. Abe, Univ. de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France)
N. Murakami, NAOJ (Japan)
T. Kotani, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris (France)
M. Tamura, NAOJ (Japan)
T. Kurokawa, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
A. V. Tavrov, NAOJ (Japan)
M. Takeda, Univ. of Electro-Communications (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7010:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr.; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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