1 September 2017 Focal plane based wavefront sensing with random DM probes
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An internal coronagraph with an adaptive optical system for wavefront control is being considered for direct imaging of exoplanets with upcoming space missions and concepts, including WFIRST, HabEx, LUVOIR, EXCEDE and ACESat. The main technical challenge associated with direct imaging of exoplanets is to control of both diffracted and scattered light from the star so that even a dim planetary companion can be imaged. For a deformable mirror (DM) to create a dark hole with 10−10 contrast in the image plane, wavefront errors must be accurately measured on the science focal plane detector to ensure a common optical path. We present here a method that uses a set of random phase probes applied to the DM to obtain a high accuracy wavefront estimate even for a dynamically changing optical system. The presented numerical simulations and experimental results show low noise sensitivity, high reliability, and robustness of the proposed approach. The method does not use any additional optics or complex calibration procedures and can be used during the calibration stage of any direct imaging mission. It can also be used in any optical experiment that uses a DM as an active optical element in the layout.
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Eugene Pluzhnik, Eugene Pluzhnik, Dan Sirbu, Dan Sirbu, Ruslan Belikov, Ruslan Belikov, Eduardo Bendek, Eduardo Bendek, Vladimir N. Dudinov, Vladimir N. Dudinov, } "Focal plane based wavefront sensing with random DM probes", Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 1040024 (1 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274457; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2274457

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