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15 June 2006 Study of coronagraphic techniques
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Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) has set up a program to study coronagraphic techniques. The program consists of the development of new fabrication methods of occulter masks, characterization of the manufactured masks, and application of the masks to study speckle reduction technique. Our occulter mask fabrication development utilizes a focused ion beam system to directly shape mask profiles from absorber material. Initial milling trials show that we can shape nearly Gaussian-shaped mask profiles. Part of this development is the characterization of absorber materials, poly(methyl methacrylate) doped with light-stable chromophores. For the characterization of the masks we have built a mask scanner enabling us to scan the transmission function of occulter masks. The real mask transmission profile is retrieved applying the maximum entropy method to deconvolve the mask transmission function from the beam profile of the test laser. Finally, our test bed for studying coronagraphic techniques is nearing completion. The optical setup is currently configured as a classical coronagraph and can easily be re-configured for studying speckle reduction techniques. The development of the test bed control software is under way. This paper we will give an update of the status of the individual program elements.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Volker Tolls, Michael Aziz, Robert A. Gonsalves, Sylvain Korzennik, Antoine Labeyrie, Richard Lyon, Gary Melnick, Ruth Schlitz, Steve Somerstein, Gopal Vasudevan, and Robert Woodruff "Study of coronagraphic techniques", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62653K (15 June 2006);

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