5 August 2010 A 4-meter wide field coronagraph space telescope for general astrophysics and exoplanet observations
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Abstract
The Wide Field Coronagraph Telescope (WFCT) is a 4-meter space telescope for general astrophysics and exoplanet observations that meets the 2000 Decadal Committee requirements. This paper presents a design for a 4-m diameter, off-axis space telescope that offers high performance in both wide field and coronagraphic imaging modes. A 3.8 x 3.3-m unobstructed elliptical pupil is provided for direct coronagraphic imaging of exoplanets and a 4-m diameter pupil for wide-field imaging from far-ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (IR). The off-axis wide-field optics are all reflective and designed to deliver an average of 12 nm wavefront aberrations over a 6 x 24 arcminute field of view (FOV), therefore providing diffraction-limited images down to 300 nm wavelength and 15 mas images down to a wavelength limit set only by the mirror coatings. The coronagraph with phase-induced amplitude apodization (PIAA) provides diffraction suppression around a 360-degree field with high Strehl and sensitivity at the 1e-10 level to an inner working angle of 2 λ/D (or 50 mas at 500 nm wavelength). This paper focuses on the optical design that allows the above imaging features to be combined in single telescope, and gives a preliminary spacecraft design and costing, assuming a distant trailing orbit.
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Domenick Tenerelli, Domenick Tenerelli, Roger Angel, Roger Angel, Jim Burge, Jim Burge, Olivier Guyon, Olivier Guyon, Ann Zabludoff, Ann Zabludoff, Ruslan Belikov, Ruslan Belikov, Eugene Pluzhnik, Eugene Pluzhnik, Robert Egerman, Robert Egerman, } "A 4-meter wide field coronagraph space telescope for general astrophysics and exoplanet observations", Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 77311N (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860719; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.860719
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