The WFIRST/AFTA 2.4 m space telescope currently under study includes a stellar coronagraph for the imaging and the spectral characterization of extrasolar planets. The coronagraph employs sequential deformable mirrors to compensate for phase and amplitude errors. Using the optical model of an Occulting Mask Coronagraph (OMC) testbed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), we have investigated and compared through modeling and simulations the performance of several actuator regularization-schemes in broadband wavefront control algorithm used to generate dark holes in an OMC, such as a Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC). Using the concept of a Tikhonov filter constituting the G-matrix, we have explained what the different regularization schemes do to singular-modes during a wavefront control (WFC) process called Electric Field Conjugation (EFC). In some cases we confirmed the numerical predictions with the testbed measured results. We present our findings in this paper.
Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) is one of the two operating modes of the Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) coronagraph instrument. Since being selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in December 2013, the coronagraph technology is being matured to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 by 2018. To demonstrate starlight suppression in presence of expecting on-orbit input wavefront disturbances, we have built a dynamic testbed in Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2016. This testbed, named as Occulting Mask Coronagraph (OMC) testbed, is designed analogous to the WFIRST flight instrument architecture: It has both HLC and Shape Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) architectures, and also has the Low Order Wavefront Sensing and Control (LOWFS/C) subsystem to sense and correct the dynamic wavefront disturbances. We present upto-date progress of HLC mode demonstration in the OMC testbed. SPC results will be reported separately. We inject the flight-like Line of Sight (LoS) and Wavefront Error (WFE) perturbation to the OMC testbed and demonstrate wavefront control using two deformable mirrors while the LOWFS/C is correcting those perturbation in our vacuum testbed. As a result, we obtain repeatable convergence below 5 × 10−9 mean contrast with 10% broadband light centered at 550 nm in the 360 degrees dark hole with working angle between 3 λ/D and 9 λ/D. We present the key hardware and software used in the testbed, the performance results and their comparison to model expectations.
End-to-end numerical optical modeling of the WFIRST coronagraph incorporating wavefront sensing and control is used to determine the performance of the coronagraph with realistic errors, including pointing jitter and polarization. We present the performance estimates of the current flight designs as predicted by modeling. We also describe the release of a new version of the PROPER optical propagation library, our primary modeling tool, which is now available for Python and Matlab in addition to IDL.
To maintain the required performance of WFIRST Coronagraph in a realistic space environment, a Low Order Wavefront Sensing and Control (LOWFS/C) subsystem is necessary. The LOWFS/C uses a Zernike wavefront sensor (ZWFS) with the phase shifting disk combined with the starlight rejecting occulting mask. For wavefront error corrections, WFIRST LOWFS/C uses a fast steering mirror (FSM) for line-of-sight (LoS) correction, a focusing mirror for focus drift correction, and one of the two deformable mirrors (DM) for other low order wavefront error (WFE) correction. As a part of technology development and demonstration for WFIRST Coronagraph, a dedicated Occulting Mask Coronagraph (OMC) testbed has been built and commissioned. With its configuration similar to the WFIRST flight coronagraph instrument the OMC testbed consists of two coronagraph modes, Shaped Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) and Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC), a low order wavefront sensor (LOWFS), and an optical telescope assembly (OTA) simulator which can generate realistic LoS drift and jitter as well as low order wavefront error that would be induced by the WFIRST telescope’s vibration and thermal changes. In this paper, we will introduce the concept of WFIRST LOWFS/C, describe the OMC testbed, and present the testbed results of LOWFS sensor performance. We will also present our recent results from the dynamic coronagraph tests in which we have demonstrated of using LOWFS/C to maintain the coronagraph contrast with the presence of WFIRST-like line-of-sight and low order wavefront disturbances.
The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a 2.4m diameter space telescope NASA program. The payload will include a coronagraph instrument (CGI). The CGI designs under development use deformable mirrors (DM) to create a point spread function (PSF) with a dark region around the obscured star object. Electric field conjugation (EFC) is an iterative nonlinear optimization procedure that uses measurements of the electric field at the image to determine the DM displacements that modify the PSF to create the region of high contrast in the image. EFC requires a numerical model of the coronagraph to calculate the Jacobian of the system, which is used, along with regularization, to solve for the DM displacements for each iteration of the nonlinear optimization. Ideally, the coronagraph is aligned and calibrated, and the calibration data are used in the numerical model for calculating the Jacobian. However, calibration and alignment measurements always contain uncertainty resulting in calibration error. Therefore, the Jacobian calculated from the numerical model is not an exact representation of the physical coronagraph, and the resulting DM solution for an EFC iteration does not have the exact impact on the electric field of the coronagraph as predicted by the EFC. The result is slow convergence, and, as will be shown, the necessity of more restrictive regularization. Using Monte Carlo trials, we investigate the effect of calibration error on EFC convergence and regularization. Comparison to results from the High Contrast Imaging Testbed Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph are also presented.
The WFIRST/AFTA 2.4 m space telescope currently under study includes a stellar coronagraph for the imaging and the spectral characterization of extrasolar planets. The coronagraph employs sequential deformable mirrors to compensate for phase and amplitude errors. Using the optical model of an Occulting Mask Coronagraph (OMC) testbed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we have investigated through modeling and simulations the sensitivity of dark hole contrast in a Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) for several error cases, including lateral and longitudinal translation errors of two deformable mirrors, DM1 and DM2, lateral and/or longitudinal translation errors of an occulting mask and a Lyot-Stop, clocking errors of DM1 and DM2, and the mismatch errors between the testbed and the model sensitivity matrices. We also investigated the effects of a control parameter, namely the actuator regularization factor, on the control efficiency and on the final contrast floor. We found several error cases which yield contrast results comparable to that observed on the HLC testbed. We present our findings in this paper.
The Space Interferometer Mission (SIM), scheduled for launch in 2009, is a space-born visible light stellar interferometer capable of micro-arcsecond-level astrometry. The Micro-Arcsecond Metrology testbed (MAM) is the ground-based testbed that incorporates all the functionalities of SIM minus the telescope, for mission-enabling technology development and verification. MAM employs a laser heterodyne metrology system using the Sub-Aperture Vertex-to-Vertex (SAVV) concept. In this paper, we describe the development and modification of the SAVV metrology launchers and the metrology instrument electronics, precision alignments and pointing control, locating cyclic error sources in the MAM testbed and methods to mitigate the cyclic errors, as well as the performance under the MAM performance metrics.