SPEED (Segmented Pupil Experiment for Exoplanet Detection) is an instrumental testbed designed to offer an ideal cocoon to provide relevant solutions in both cophasing and high-contrast imaging with segmented telescopes. The next generation of observatories will be made of a primary mirror with excessive complexity (mirror segmentation, central obscuration, and spider vanes) undoubtedly known to be unfavorable for the direct detection of exoplanets. Exoplanets detection around late-type stars (M-dwarfs) constitutes an outstanding reservoir of candidates, and SPEED integrates all the recipes to pave the road for this science case (cophasing sensors, multi-DM wavefront control and shaping architecture as well as advanced coronagraphy). In this paper, we provide a progress overview of the project and report on the first light with segments cophasing control and monitoring from a coronagraphic image.
Future high-contrast imagers on ground-based extremely large telescopes will have to deal with the segmentation of the primary mirrors. Residual phase errors coming from the phase steps at the edges of the segments will have to be minimized in order to reach the highest possible wavefront correction and thus the best contrast performance. To study these effects, we have developed the MITHIC high-contrast testbed, which is designed to test various strategies for wavefront sensing, including the Zernike sensor for Extremely accurate measurements of Low-level Differential Aberrations (ZELDA) and COronagraphic Focal-plane wave-Front Estimation for Exoplanet detection (COFFEE). We recently equipped the bench with a new atmospheric turbulence simulation module that offers both static phase patterns representing segmented primary mirrors and continuous phase strips representing atmospheric turbulence filtered by an AO or an XAO system. We present a characterisation of the module using different instruments and wavefront sensors, and the first coronagraphic measurements obtained on MITHIC.
The PPLN crystal is combined with a set of DFB diodes and fiber amplifier to come up with a compact device that demonstrates high-stability output through near- to mid-IR range at repetition rate up to 500 kHz.