7 July 2006 Performance of TPF's high-contrast imaging testbed: modeling and simulations
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The performance of the high-contrast imaging testbed (HCIT) at JPL is investigated through optical modeling and simulations. The analytical tool is an optical simulation algorithm developed by combining the HCIT's optical model with a speckle-nulling algorithm that operates directly on coronagraphic images, an algorithm identical to the one currently being used on the HCIT to actively suppress scattered light via a deformable mirror. It is capable of performing full three-dimensional end-to-end near-field diffraction analysis on the HCIT's optical system. By conducting extensive speckle-nulling optimization, we clarify the HCIT's capability and limitations in terms of its contrast performance under various realistic conditions. Considered cases include non-ideal occulting masks, such as a mask with parasitic phase-delay errors (i.e., a not band-limited occulting mask) and one with damped ripples in its transmittance profiles, as well as the phase errors of all optics. Most of the information gathered on the HCIT's optical components through measurement and characterization over the last several years at JPL has been used in this analysis to make the predictions as accurate as possible. Our simulations predict that the contrast values obtainable on the HCIT with narrow-band (monochromatic) illumination at 785nm wavelength are Cm=1.58x10-11 (mean) and C4=5.11x10-11(at 4λ/D), in contrast to the measured results of Cm~6×10-10 and C4~8×10-10, respectively. In this paper we report our findings about the monochromatic light performance of the HCIT. We will describe the results of our investigation about the HCIT's broad-band performance in an upcoming paper.
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Erkin Sidick, Erkin Sidick, Fang Shi, Fang Shi, Scott Basinger, Scott Basinger, Dwight Moody, Dwight Moody, Andrew E. Lowman, Andrew E. Lowman, Andreas C. Kuhnert, Andreas C. Kuhnert, John T. Tauger, John T. Tauger, "Performance of TPF's high-contrast imaging testbed: modeling and simulations", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62653L (7 July 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670524; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.670524

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