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13 September 2019 Critical characteristics of coronagraph masks influencing high contrast performance
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Abstract
High contrast imaging and characterization of faint exoplanets require a coronagraph instrument to efficiently suppress the host star light to 10-9 level contrast over a broad spectral bandwidth. The NASA WFIRST mission plan includes a coronagraph instrument to demonstrate the technology needed to image and characterize exoplanets. Lyot coronagraph masks designed to serve at the focal plane followed by a Lyot stop will be key elements in the WFIRST coronagraph and in future advanced missions such as LUVOIR (Bolcar (2019) and HabEx (Morgan 2019, Martin 2019)). Shaped pupil masks designed to work in reflective geometry are also employed in the WFIRST Coronagraph. High-contrast performance reaching much better than 10-9 contrast requires very tight design, fabrication tolerances, and material properties to meet a wide range of specifications, including precise shapes, micron-scale island features, ultra-low reflectivity regions, uniformity, wavefront quality, etc. In this paper, we present all the critical analytical and measured properties of materials and designs in relation to the results from our coronagraph testbeds.
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Byoung-Joon Seo, Keith Patterson, Camilo Mejia Prada, A.J. Eldorado Riggs, Hanying Zhou, Dwight Moody, Eric Cady, Victor White, Karl Yee, Richard Muller, Pierre Echternach, Frank Greer, and Daniel Wilson "Critical characteristics of coronagraph masks influencing high contrast performance", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171H (13 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2530825
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