AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 3 Space Missions: Planet Finding, Astrobiology and Others
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[3.06] Sensitivity of Shaped Pupil Coronagraphs to Wavefront Errors

M. Lieber, S. Kilston (Ball Aerospace and Technologies), N.J. Kasdin, R.J. Vanderbei (Princeton University)

In recent years, coronagraphy has emerged as a viable alternative for future space based extrasolar planet imaging missions. In particular, NASA is currently studying the tradeoffs between utilizing a nulling interferometer or a coronagraph for its Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission. One particularly promising approach to coronagraphy is the use of shaped pupils for high contrast. In a companion paper we present various optimal shapes for achieving high contrast in the focal plane. In this paper we present the sensitivity of these designs to various wavefront aberrations. We have discovered a strong dependence among the sensitivity, the type of coronagraph, and the mask geometry. These results are used to establish the residual wavefront error specifications and the requirements on the wavefront control system. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for this work.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.