From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
NASA WFIRST mission has planned to include a coronagraph instrument to find and characterize exoplanets. Masks are needed to suppress the host star light to better than 10-8 – 10-9 level contrast over a broad bandwidth to enable the coronagraph mission objectives. Such masks for high contrast coronagraphic imaging require various fabrication technologies to meet a wide range of specifications, including precise shapes, micron scale island features, ultra-low reflectivity regions, uniformity, wave front quality, etc. We present the technologies employed at JPL to produce these pupil plane and image plane coronagraph masks, and lab-scale external occulter masks, highlighting accomplishments from the high contrast imaging testbed (HCIT) at JPL and from the high contrast imaging lab (HCIL) at Princeton University. Inherent systematic and random errors in fabrication and their impact on coronagraph performance are discussed with model predictions and measurements.
Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, A. J. Eldorado Riggs, Eric Cady, Victor White, Karl Yee, Daniel Wilson, Pierre Echternach, Richard Muller, Camilo Mejia Prada, Byoung-Joon Seo, Fang Shi, Daniel Ryan, Santos Fregoso, Jacob Metzman, and Robert Casey Wilson, "Fabrication of coronagraph masks and laboratory scale star-shade masks: characteristics, defects, and performance," Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 104000C (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 08, 2017; Published: 12 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2274059.
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