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15 June 2006 Nulling and adaptive optics for very high dynamic range coronagraph
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We have started demonstrating a technique for high dynamic range observations in the lab. This method, proposed by Nishikawa et al., combines a nulling interferometer, a wavefront compensator, and a coronagraph. In the experiments, two beams are generated by a beam splitter and they are combined by another beam splitter under an intensity-unbalanced nulling condition. After the unbalanced nulling interferometer (UNI), normal wavefront sensor and two deformable mirrors are applied for phase and amplitude correction (PAC). Wavefront errors of the two original beams, large errors after the UNI, and compensated errors after the PAC by the deformable mirrors will be measured. After the UNI-PAC method is applied, a downstream coronagraph optics will be set to see that the peak intensity of the central star is dimmed and speckle noise level is also reduced relative to off-axis planet intensity. Possible applications of the method are also discussed.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jun Nishikawa, Naoshi Murakami, Lyu Abe, Takayuki Kotani, Motohide Tamura, Kaito Yokochi, and Takashi Kurokawa "Nulling and adaptive optics for very high dynamic range coronagraph", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62653Q (15 June 2006);

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