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Title: High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection

Abstract

Direct imaging of extrasolar planets is an important, but challenging, next step in planetary science. Most planets identified to date have been detected indirectly--not by emitted or reflected light but through the effect of the planet on the parent star. For example, radial velocity techniques measure the doppler shift in the spectrum of the star produced by the presence of a planet. Indirect techniques only probe about 15% of the orbital parameter space of our solar system. Direct methods would probe new parameter space, and the detected light can be analyzed spectroscopically, providing new information about detected planets. High contrast adaptive optics systems, also known as Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO), will require contrasts of between 10 -6 and 10 -7 at angles of 4-24 λ/D on an 8-m class telescope to image young Jupiter-like planets still warm with the heat of formation. Contrast is defined as the intensity ratio of the dark wings of the image, where a planet might be, to the bright core of the star. Such instruments will be technically challenging, requiring high order adaptive optics with > 2000 actuators and improved diffraction suppression. Contrast is ultimately limited by residual static wavefront errors, so an extrasolar planetmore » imager will require wavefront control with an accuracy of better than 1 nm rms within the low- to mid-spatial frequency range. Laboratory demonstrations are critical to instrument development. The ExAO testbed at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics was designed with low wavefront error and precision optical metrology, which is used to explore contrast limits and develop the technology needed for an extrasolar planet imager. A state-of-the-art, 1024-actuator micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) deformable mirror was installed and characterized to provide active wavefront control and test this novel technology. I present 6.5 x 10 -8 contrast measurements with a prolate shaped pupil and flat mirror demonstrating that the testbed can operate in the necessary contrast regime. Wavefront measurements and simulations indicate that contrast is limited by wavefront error, not diffraction. I demonstrate feasibility of the MEMS deformable mirror for meeting the stringent residual wavefront error requirements of an extrasolar planet imager with closed-loop results of 0.54 nm rms within controllable spatial frequencies. Individual contributors to final wavefront quality have been identified and characterized. I also present contrast measurements of 2 x 10 -7 made with the MEMS device and identify amplitude errors as the limiting error source. Closed-loop performance and simulated far-field measurements using a Kolmogorov phase plate to introduce atmosphere-like optical errors are also presented.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
900101
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TH-224123
TRN: US200709%%388
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ACCURACY; ACTUATORS; AMPLITUDES; DETECTION; DIFFRACTION; FORMATION HEAT; FREQUENCY RANGE; MIRRORS; OPTICS; PLANETS; PLATES; PROBES; RADIAL VELOCITY; SOLAR SYSTEM; STARS; TELESCOPES

Citation Formats

Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen. High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/900101.
Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen. High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection. United States. doi:10.2172/900101.
Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen. Sun . "High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection". United States. doi:10.2172/900101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/900101.
@article{osti_900101,
title = {High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection},
author = {Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen},
abstractNote = {Direct imaging of extrasolar planets is an important, but challenging, next step in planetary science. Most planets identified to date have been detected indirectly--not by emitted or reflected light but through the effect of the planet on the parent star. For example, radial velocity techniques measure the doppler shift in the spectrum of the star produced by the presence of a planet. Indirect techniques only probe about 15% of the orbital parameter space of our solar system. Direct methods would probe new parameter space, and the detected light can be analyzed spectroscopically, providing new information about detected planets. High contrast adaptive optics systems, also known as Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO), will require contrasts of between 10-6 and 10-7 at angles of 4-24 λ/D on an 8-m class telescope to image young Jupiter-like planets still warm with the heat of formation. Contrast is defined as the intensity ratio of the dark wings of the image, where a planet might be, to the bright core of the star. Such instruments will be technically challenging, requiring high order adaptive optics with > 2000 actuators and improved diffraction suppression. Contrast is ultimately limited by residual static wavefront errors, so an extrasolar planet imager will require wavefront control with an accuracy of better than 1 nm rms within the low- to mid-spatial frequency range. Laboratory demonstrations are critical to instrument development. The ExAO testbed at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics was designed with low wavefront error and precision optical metrology, which is used to explore contrast limits and develop the technology needed for an extrasolar planet imager. A state-of-the-art, 1024-actuator micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) deformable mirror was installed and characterized to provide active wavefront control and test this novel technology. I present 6.5 x 10-8 contrast measurements with a prolate shaped pupil and flat mirror demonstrating that the testbed can operate in the necessary contrast regime. Wavefront measurements and simulations indicate that contrast is limited by wavefront error, not diffraction. I demonstrate feasibility of the MEMS deformable mirror for meeting the stringent residual wavefront error requirements of an extrasolar planet imager with closed-loop results of 0.54 nm rms within controllable spatial frequencies. Individual contributors to final wavefront quality have been identified and characterized. I also present contrast measurements of 2 x 10-7 made with the MEMS device and identify amplitude errors as the limiting error source. Closed-loop performance and simulated far-field measurements using a Kolmogorov phase plate to introduce atmosphere-like optical errors are also presented.},
doi = {10.2172/900101},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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  • Particle interactions were recorded holographically in a large volume of the 15-foot Bubble Chamber at Fermilab. This cryogenic bubble chamber was filled with a heavy Neon-Hydrogen mixture and was exposed to a wide-band neutrino beam with mean energy of 150 GeV. The use of holography in combination with conventional photography provides a powerful tool for direct detection of short-lived particles. Holography gives a high resolution over a large depth of field which can not be achieved with conventional photography. A high-power pulsed ruby laser was used as the holographic light source. Since short pulses of some 50 ns duration atmore » the required energy were found to give rise to boiling during the chamber's expansion, a reduction of the instantaneous power at a given energy was required to suppress this unwanted after-effect. This was achieved by developing a unique technique for stretching the pulses using a electro-optic feedback loop. One hundred thousand holograms were produced during a wide-band neutrino experiment (E-632, 1985) using a dark-field holographic system. Analysis of a sample of holograms shows a resolution of 150 {mu}m was achieved in an ovoidal shape fiducial volume of 0.48 m{sup 3}, 3% of the 14 m{sup 3} total fiducial volume of the chamber.« less
  • Particle interactions were recorded holographically in a large volume of ,,... the 15-foot Bubble Chamber at Fermilab. This cryogenic bubble chamber was filled with a heavy Neon-Hydrogen mixture and was exposed to a wideband neutrino beam with mean energy of 150 Ge V. The use of holography in combination with conventional photography provides a powerful tool for direct detection of short-lived particles. Holography gives a high resolution - over a large depth of field which can not be achieved with conventional photography. A high-power pulsed ruby laser was used as the holographic light source. Since short pulses of some 50more » ns duration at the required energy were found to give rise to boiling during the chamber's expansion, a reduction of the instantaneous power at a given energy was required to suppress this unwanted after-effect. This was achieved by developing a unique technique for stretching the pulses using an electro-optic feedback loop. One hundred thousand holograms were produced during a wide-band neutrino experiment (E-632, 1985) using a dark-field holographic system. Analysis of a sample of holograms shows a resolution of 150 μm was achieved in an ovoidal shape fiducial volume of $0.48 m^3$ , 3 % of the 14 $m^3$ total fiducial volume of the chamber.« less
  • The direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by extrasolar planets, spatially resolved from their parent star, is a major frontier in the study of other solar systems. Direct detection will provide statistical information on planets in 5-50 AU orbits, inaccessible to current Doppler searches, and allow spectral characterization of radius, temperature, surface gravity, and perhaps composition. Achieving this will require new dedicated high-contrast instruments. One such system under construction is the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI.) This combines a high-order/high-speed adaptive optics system to control wavefront errors from the Earth's atmosphere, an advanced coronagraph to block diffraction, ultrasmooth optics, amore » precision infrared interferometer to measure and correct systematic errors, and a integral field spectrograph/polarimeter to image and characterize target planetary systems. We predict that GPI will be able to detect planets with brightness less than 10{sup -7} of their parent star, sufficient to observe warm self-luminous planets around a large population of targets.« less
  • Direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by an extrasolar planet is an extremely difficult but extremely exciting application of adaptive optics. Typical contrast levels for an extrasolar planet would be 10{sup 9}-Jupiter is a billion times fainter than the sun. Current adaptive optics systems can only achieve contrast levels of 10{sup 6}, but so-called ''extreme'' adaptive optics systems with 10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} degrees of freedom could potentially detect extrasolar planets. We explore the scaling laws defining the performance of these systems, first set out by Angel (1994), and derive a different definition of an optimal system. Our sensitivity predictionsmore » are somewhat more pessimistic than the original paper, due largely to slow decorrelation timescales for some noise sources, though choosing to site an ExAO system at a location with exceptional r{sub 0} (e.g. Mauna Kea) can offset this. We also explore the effects of segment aberrations in a Keck-like telescope on ExAO; although the effects are significant, they can be mitigated through Lyot coronagraphy.« less