28 August 2014 Optimal wavefront estimation of incoherent sources
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Direct imaging is in general necessary to characterize exoplanets and disks. A coronagraph is an instrument used to create a dim (high-contrast) region in a star’s PSF where faint companions can be detected. All coronagraphic high-contrast imaging systems use one or more deformable mirrors (DMs) to correct quasi-static aberrations and recover contrast in the focal plane. Simulations show that existing wavefront control algorithms can correct for diffracted starlight in just a few iterations, but in practice tens or hundreds of control iterations are needed to achieve high contrast. The discrepancy largely arises from the fact that simulations have perfect knowledge of the wavefront and DM actuation. Thus, wavefront correction algorithms are currently limited by the quality and speed of wavefront estimates. Exposures in space will take orders of magnitude more time than any calculations, so a nonlinear estimation method that needs fewer images but more computational time would be advantageous. In addition, current wavefront correction routines seek only to reduce diffracted starlight. Here we present nonlinear estimation algorithms that include optimal estimation of sources incoherent with a star such as exoplanets and debris disks.
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A. J. Eldorado Riggs, A. J. Eldorado Riggs, N. Jeremy Kasdin, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Tyler Groff, Tyler Groff, "Optimal wavefront estimation of incoherent sources", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 914324 (28 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056288; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056288

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