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R.J. Vanderbei (Princeton University)
Pupil-mapping is a technique whereby a uniformly-illuminated input pupil, such as from starlight, is mapped to a non-uniformly illuminated exit pupil such that the image formed from this pupil has sidelobes that are suppressed many orders of magnitude relative to the main lobe. Pupil mapping is therefore a candidate technique for coronagraphic imaging of extrasolar planets around nearby stars. Unlike most other high-contrast imaging techniques, pupil mapping is lossless and preserves the full angular resolution of the collecting telescope. So, it presents an attractive option for the design of the Terrestrial Planet Finder space telescope. Prior analyses based on pupil-to-pupil ray-tracing indicate that a planet fainter than 10-10 times its parent star, and as close as about 2 \lambda/D, should be detectable. In this paper, we describe the results of careful diffraction analysis of pupil mapping systems. These results reveal certain technical challenges. Possible solutions to these challenges will be presented.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.