AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 5 Visible/UV/IR Space Missions and Technology
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.14] Optimal Designs, Mask Manufacture, and Experimental Results for Shaped Pupil Coronagraphs

N. J. Kasdin, R. J. Vanderbei, M. G. Littman, D. Ren, M. Carr, D. N. Spergel (Princeton University)

Recently, NASA has settled on a coronagraphic ``Terrestrial Planet Finder'' as its next flagship observatory. This monolithic space telescope will be equipped with a coronagraph for finding planets. As a result, the current research being done into coronagraphic concepts and wavefront control is of great importance. At Princeton, we have been studying optimal shaped pupils as a means of achieving the needed high contrast for terrestrial planet detection and characterization. In this paper, we present our most promising optimal shaped pupil designs, discuss design tradeoffs, and explore manufacturing sensitivities. We then present our recent laboratory results using shaped pupils. We present our most recent pupils manufactured via a variety of methods and show the imaged point spread functions where we have achieved between 10-6 and 10-7 contrast at better than 5 \lambda/D. 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, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.