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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[3.07] Optimal Shaped Pupils for Planet Finding Coronagraphy

N.J. Kasdin, R.J. Vanderbei, M.G. Littman, D.N. Spergel (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 this paper we present our most recent results designing optimal shaped pupils for high-contrast imaging. We present various families of pupils, both one-dimensional and azimuthally symmetric, that provide a variety of performance advantages. The goal of the optimization is to create a system point spread function (PSF) with the needed contrast allowing for planet discovery at the smallest inner working angle (IWA) in the shortest integration time. To do this, we typically optimize throughput with contrast and IWA constraints. We also present the first laboratory results of testing a shaped pupil coronagraph. 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.