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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 14 — Jul. 2, 2012
  • pp: 15196–15208

Boundary diffraction wave integrals for diffraction modeling of external occulters

Eric Cady  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 14, pp. 15196-15208 (2012)

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An occulter is a large diffracting screen which may be flown in conjunction with a telescope to image extrasolar planets. The edge is shaped to minimize the diffracted light in a region beyond the occulter, and a telescope may be placed in this dark shadow to view an extrasolar system with the starlight removed. Errors in position, orientation, and shape of the occulter will diffract additional light into this region, and a challenge of modeling an occulter system is to accurately and quickly model these effects. We present a fast method for the calculation of electric fields following an occulter, based on the concept of the boundary diffraction wave: the 2D structure of the occulter is reduced to a 1D edge integral which directly incorporates the occulter shape, and which can be easily adjusted to include changes in occulter position and shape, as well as the effects of sources—such as exoplanets—which arrive off-axis to the occulter. The structure of a typical implementation of the algorithm is included.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(350.6090) Other areas of optics : Space optics
(120.6085) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Space instrumentation
(070.7345) Fourier optics and signal processing : Wave propagation

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: May 9, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 1, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 5, 2012
Published: June 21, 2012

Eric Cady, "Boundary diffraction wave integrals for diffraction modeling of external occulters," Opt. Express 20, 15196-15208 (2012)

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  1. N. J. Kasdin, D. N. Spergel, R. J. Vanderbei, D. Lisman, S. Shaklan, M. Thomson, P. Walkemeyer, V. Bach, E. Oakes, E. Cady, S. Martin, L. Marchen, B. Macintosh, R. E. Rudd, J. Mikula, and D. Lynch, “Advancing technology for starlight suppression via an external occulter,” Proc. SPIE8151, 81510J (2011). [CrossRef]
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