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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 10 — May. 20, 2013
  • pp: 12744–12756

Super-Gaussian apodization in ground based telescopes for high contrast coronagraph imaging

Miguel A. Cagigas, Pedro J. Valle, and Manuel P. Cagigal  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 10, pp. 12744-12756 (2013)

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We introduce the use of Super-Gaussian apodizing functions in the telescope pupil plane and/or the coronagraph Lyot plane to improve the imaging contrast in ground-based coronagraphs. We describe the properties of the Super-Gaussian function, we estimate its second-order moment in the pupil and Fourier planes and we check it as an apodizing function. We then use Super-Gaussian function to apodize the telescope pupil, the coronagraph Lyot plane or both of them. The result is that a proper apodizing masks combination can reduce the exoplanet detection distance up to a 45% with respect to the classic Lyot coronagraph, for moderately aberrated wavefronts. Compared to the prolate spheroidal function the Super-Gaussian apodizing function allows the planet light up to 3 times brighter. An extra help to increase the extinction rate is to perform a frame selection (Lucky Imaging technique). We show that a selection of the 10% best frames will reduce up to a 20% the detection angular distance when using the classic Lyot coronagraph but that the reduction is only around the 5% when using an apodized coronagraph.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(100.2980) Image processing : Image enhancement
(110.2970) Imaging systems : Image detection systems
(110.6770) Imaging systems : Telescopes
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: November 21, 2012
Revised Manuscript: January 30, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: March 22, 2013
Published: May 16, 2013

Miguel A. Cagigas, Pedro J. Valle, and Manuel P. Cagigal, "Super-Gaussian apodization in ground based telescopes for high contrast coronagraph imaging," Opt. Express 21, 12744-12756 (2013)

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