21 September 2012 Experimental parametric study of the self-coherent camera
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Direct imaging of exoplanets requires the detection of very faint objects orbiting close to very bright stars. In this context, the SPICES mission was proposed to the European Space Agency for planet characterization at visible wavelength. SPICES is a 1.5m space telescope which uses a coronagraph to strongly attenuate the central source. However, small optical aberrations, which appear even in space telescopes, dramatically decrease coronagraph performance. To reduce these aberrations, we want to estimate, directly on the coronagraphic image, the electric field, and, with the help of a deformable mirror, correct the wavefront upstream of the coronagraph. We propose an instrument, the Self-Coherent Camera (SCC) for this purpose. By adding a small "reference hole" into the Lyot stop, located after the coronagraph, we can produce interferences in the focal plane, using the coherence of the stellar light. We developed algorithms to decode the information contained in these Fizeau fringes and retrieve an estimation of the field in the focal plane. After briefly recalling the SCC principle, we will present the results of a study, based on both experiment and numerical simulation, analyzing the impact of the size of the reference hole.
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Johan Mazoyer, Johan Mazoyer, Pierre Baudoz, Pierre Baudoz, Marion Mas, Marion Mas, Gerard Rousset, Gerard Rousset, Raphaël Galicher, Raphaël Galicher, } "Experimental parametric study of the self-coherent camera", Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 844250 (21 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926080; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926080

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