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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 14 — Jul. 6, 2009
  • pp: 11652–11664

The effect of a small heat source on PSF stability for high-contrast imaging

JuliaW. Evans, Bruce Macintosh, Andrew Norton, Daren Dillon, and Donald Gavel  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 14, pp. 11652-11664 (2009)

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High-contrast adaptive optics systems, such as those needed to image extrasolar planets, are known to require excellent wavefront control and diffraction suppression. The Laboratory for Adaptive Optics at UC Santa Cruz is investigating limits to high-contrast imaging in support of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). In this paper we examine the effect of heat sources in the testbed on point-spread-function (PSF) stability. Introducing a heat source primarily introduces image motion. The GPI error budget requires image motion to be less than 0.1 λ/D. Systematic motion of the PSF core is typically 0.01λ/D rms and with a 20 watt heat source introduced near the pupil plane image motion is increased to 0.02λ/D rms. Therefore, even a heat source as large as 20 watts near the pupil plane causes errors below the GPI requirement, but the combination of the heat source and additional air turbulence on the system introduced by changes to the enclosure or the fan of other components can produce significantly more motion. Heat also can affect the speckle pattern in the high-contrast region, but in the final instrument other sources of error should be more significant.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Adaptive Optics

Original Manuscript: March 24, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 8, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: May 9, 2009
Published: June 26, 2009

Julia W. Evans, Bruce Macintosh, Andrew Norton, Daren Dillon, and Donald Gavel, "The effect of a small heat source on PSF stability for high-contrast imaging," Opt. Express 17, 11652-11664 (2009)

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