The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Optical Simulation Testbed (JOST) is a hardware simulator for wavefront sensing and control designed to produce JWST-like images. A model of the JWST three mirror anastigmat is realized with three lenses in the form of a Cooke triplet, which provides JWST-like optical quality over a field equivalent to a NIRCam module. An Iris AO hexagonally segmented mirror stands in for the JWST primary. This setup successfully produces images extremely similar to expected JWST in- ight point spread functions (PSFs), and NIRCam images from cryotesting, in terms of the PSF morphology and sampling relative to the diffraction limit. The segmentation of the primary mirror into subapertures introduces complexity into wavefront sensing and control (WFSandC) of large space based telescopes like JWST. JOST provides a platform for independent analysis of WFSandC scenarios for both commissioning and maintenance activities on such observatories. We present an update of the current status of the testbed including both single field and wide-field alignment results. We assess the optical quality of JOST over a wide field of view to inform the future implementation of different wavefront sensing algorithms including the currently implemented Linearized Algorithm for Phase Diversity (LAPD). JOST complements other work at the Makidon Laboratory at the Space Telescope Science Institute, including the High-contrast imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes (HiCAT) testbed, that investigates coronagraphy for segmented aperture telescopes. Beyond JWST we intend to use JOST for WFSandC studies for future large segmented space telescopes such as LUVOIR.
Segmented telescopes are a possible approach to enable large-aperture space telescopes for the direct imaging and spectroscopy of habitable worlds. However, the increased complexity of their aperture geometry, due to the central obstruction, support structures and segment gaps, makes high-contrast imaging very challenging. The High-contrast imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes (HiCAT) testbed was designed to study and develop solutions for such telescope pupils using wavefront control and coronagraphic starlight suppression. The testbed design has the flexibility to enable studies with increasing complexity for telescope aperture geometries starting with off-axis telescopes, then on-axis telescopes with central obstruction and support structures - e.g. the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) - up to on-axis segmented telescopes, including various concepts for a Large UV, Optical, IR telescope (LUVOIR). In the past year, HiCAT has made significant hardware and software updates in order to accelerate the development of the project. In addition to completely overhauling the software that runs the testbed, we have completed several hardware upgrades, including the second and third deformable mirror, and the first custom Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraph (APLC) optimized for the HiCAT aperture, which is similar to one of the possible geometries considered for LUVOIR. The testbed also includes several external metrology features for rapid replacement of parts, and in particular the ability to test multiple apodizers readily, an active tip-tilt control system to compensate for local vibration and air turbulence in the enclosure. On the software and operations side, the software infrastructure enables 24/7 automated experiments that include routine calibration tasks and high-contrast experiments. In this communication we present an overview and status update of the project, both on the hardware and software side, and describe the results obtained with APLC wavefront control.
We discuss the use of parametric phase-diverse phase retrieval as an <i>in-situ </i>high-fidelity wavefront measurement method to characterize and optimize the transmitted wavefront of a high-contrast coronagraphic instrument. We apply our method to correct the transmitted wavefront of the HiCAT (High contrast imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes) coronagraphic testbed. This correction requires a series of calibration steps, which we describe. The correction improves the system wavefront from 16 nm RMS to 3.0 nm RMS.