We conduct an extensive numerical study to single out the best performing rectangular array of evanescently coupled waveguides (discrete beam combiner) that can be used as an integrated optic beam combiner for 6-telescopes at once. We found that the performance of a discrete beam combiner only depends on the conditioning of the Visibility to Pixel Matrix (V2PM) describing it. However, we found that the condition number of V2PM pertaining to different beam combiner architectures cannot be compared. We further report on the possible input waveguide configuration of an 8-telescope discrete beam combiner featuring 8x8 or 9x9 waveguides.
Nulling interferometry has been identified as a competitive technique for the detection of extrasolar planets. The technique consists in combining out-of-phase pairs of telescopes to null effectively the light of a bright star an reveal the dim glow of the companion. We have manufactured and tested with monochromatic light an integrated optics component which combines a linear array of 4 telescopes in the nulling mode envisaged by Angel&Wolf.1 Our testbench simulates the motion of a star in the sky. The tests have demonstrated a nulling scaling as the fourth power of the baseline delay.
In recent years, new coronagraphic schemes have been proposed, the most promising being the optical vortex
phase mask coronagraphs. In our work, a new scheme of broadband optical scalar vortex coronagraph is proposed
and characterized experimentally in the laboratory. Our setup employs a pair of computer generated phase
gratings (one of them containing a singularity) to control the chromatic dispersion of phase plates and achieves a
constant peak-to-peak attenuation below 1:1000 over a bandwidth of 120 nm centered at 700 nm. An inner working
angle of λ/D is demonstrated along with a raw contrast of 11.5magnitudes at 2λ/D. A more compact setup
achieves a peak-to-peak attenuation below 1:1000 over a bandwidth of 60 nm with the other results remaining