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Title: APODIZED PUPIL LYOT CORONAGRAPHS FOR ARBITRARY APERTURES. IV. REDUCED INNER WORKING ANGLE AND INCREASED ROBUSTNESS TO LOW-ORDER ABERRATIONS

The Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraph (APLC) is a diffraction suppression system installed in the recently deployed instruments Palomar/P1640, Gemini/GPI, and VLT/SPHERE to allow direct imaging and spectroscopy of circumstellar environments. Using a prolate apodization, the current implementations offer raw contrasts down to 10{sup –7} at 0.2 arcsec from a star over a wide bandpass (20%), in the presence of central obstruction and struts, enabling the study of young or massive gaseous planets. Observations of older or lighter companions at smaller separations would require improvements in terms of the inner working angle (IWA) and contrast, but the methods originally used for these designs were not able to fully explore the parameter space. We propose a novel approach to improve the APLC performance. Our method relies on the linear properties of the coronagraphic electric field with the apodization at any wavelength to develop numerical solutions producing coronagraphic star images with high-contrast region in broadband light. We explore the parameter space by considering different aperture geometries, contrast levels, dark-zone sizes, bandpasses, and focal plane mask sizes. We present an application of these solutions to the case of Gemini/GPI with a design delivering a 10{sup –8} raw contrast at 0.19 arcsec and offering a significantly reducedmore » sensitivity to low-order aberrations compared to the current implementation. Optimal solutions have also been found to reach 10{sup –10} contrast in broadband light regardless of the aperture shape, with effective IWA in the 2-3.5 λ/D range, therefore making the APLC a suitable option for the future exoplanet direct imagers on the ground or in space.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364310
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APERTURES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DIFFRACTION; ELECTRIC FIELDS; IMPLEMENTATION; NUMERICAL SOLUTION; PERFORMANCE; RESOLUTION; SENSITIVITY; SPACE; STARS; STELLAR CORONAE; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION