Calibration of quasi-static aberrations in exoplanet direct-imaging instruments with a Zernike phase-mask sensor

Дата и время публикации : 2013-05-22T14:11:18Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
M. N’Diaye
K. Dohlen
T. Fusco
B. Paul

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 11 pages, 14 figures, A&A accepted, 2nd version after language-editor corrections
Первичная категория: astro-ph.IM

Все категории : astro-ph.IM

Краткий обзор статьи: Context. Several exoplanet direct imaging instruments will soon be in operation. They use an extreme adaptive optics (XAO) system to correct the atmospheric turbulence and provide a highly-corrected beam to a near-infrared (NIR) coronagraph for starlight suppression. The performance of the coronagraph is however limited by the non-common path aberrations (NCPA) due to the differential wavefront errors existing between the visible XAO sensing path and the NIR science path, leading to residual speckles in the coronagraphic image. Aims. Several approaches have been developed in the past few years to accurately calibrate the NCPA, correct the quasi-static speckles and allow the observation of exoplanets at least 1e6 fainter than their host star. We propose an approach based on the Zernike phase-contrast method for the measurements of the NCPA between the optical path seen by the visible XAO wavefront sensor and that seen by the near-IR coronagraph. Methods. This approach uses a focal plane phase mask of size {lambda}/D, where {lambda} and D denote the wavelength and the telescope aperture diameter, respectively, to measure the quasi-static aberrations in the upstream pupil plane by encoding them into intensity variations in the downstream pupil image. We develop a rigorous formalism, leading to highly accurate measurement of the NCPA, in a quasi-linear way during the observation. Results. For a static phase map of standard deviation 44 nm rms at {lambda} = 1.625 {mu}m (0.026 {lambda}), we estimate a possible reduction of the chromatic NCPA by a factor ranging from 3 to 10 in the presence of AO residuals compared with the expected performance of a typical current-generation system. This would allow a reduction of the level of quasi-static speckles in the detected images by a factor 10 to 100 hence, correspondingly improving the capacity to observe exoplanets.

Category: Physics