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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 2 — Jan. 10, 2008
  • pp: 116–125

Band-limited image plane masks for the Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph: materials and designs for broadband performance

Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 2, pp. 116-125 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.47.000116


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Abstract

Coronagraphs for detection and characterization of exosolar earthlike planets require accurate masks with broadband performance in the visible and near infrared spectrum. Design and fabrication of image plane masks capable of suppressing broadband starlight to 10 10 level contrast presents technical challenges. We discuss basic approaches, material choices, designs, and fabrication options for image plane masks with particular focus on material properties to obtain adequate spectral performance. Based on theoretical analysis, we show that metals such as Pt and Ni, and alloys such as Inconel, may be employed as promising mask materials that can meet broadband performance requirements.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.6770) Imaging systems : Telescopes
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
(310.1620) Thin films : Interference coatings
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties
(310.3915) Thin films : Metallic, opaque, and absorbing coatings

ToC Category:
Materials

History
Original Manuscript: June 4, 2007
Revised Manuscript: September 18, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: November 10, 2007
Published: January 7, 2008

Citation
Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, "Band-limited image plane masks for the Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph: materials and designs for broadband performance," Appl. Opt. 47, 116-125 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-47-2-116


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References

  1. JPL web site on Planet Quest: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpflowbarindex.cfm.
  2. M. J. Kuchner and W. A. Traub, "A coronagraph with a band-limited mask for finding terrestrial planets," Astrophys. J. 570, 900-908 (2002). [CrossRef]
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  18. E. Sidick and K. Balasubramanian, "Effects of optical-density and phase dispersion of an imperfect band-limited occulting mask on the broadband performance of a TPF coronagraph," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931C (2007). [CrossRef]
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  22. K. Balasubramanian, D. W. Wilson, R. E. Muller, B. D. Kern, and E. Sidick, "Thickness dependent optical properties of metals and alloys applicable to TPF coronagraph image masks," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66930Z (2007). [CrossRef]
  23. D. C. Moody and J. T. Trauger, "Hybrid Lyot coronagraph masks and wavefront control for improved spectral bandwidth and throughput," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931I (2007). [CrossRef]

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