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Experimental Verification of a One-Dimensional Diffraction-Limit Coronagraph

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posted on 2023-06-06, 16:00 authored by Satoshi Itoh, Taro Matsuo, Shunsuke Ota, Kensuke Hara, Yuji Ikeda, Reiki Kojima, Toru Yamada, Takahiro Sumi
We performed an experimental verification of a coronagraph. As a result, we confirmed that, at the focal region where the planetary point spread function exists, the coronagraph system mitigates the raw contrast of a star-planet system by at least $1\times10^{-5}$ even for the 1-$\lambda/D$ star-planet separation. In addition, the verified coronagraph keeps the shapes of the off-axis point spread functions when the setup has the source angular separation of 1$\lambda/D$. The low-order wavefront error and the non-zero extinction ratio of the linear polarizer may affect the currently confirmed contrast. The sharpness of the off-axis point spread function generated by the sub-$\lambda/D$ separated sources is promising for the fiber-based observation of exoplanets. The coupling efficiency with a single mode fiber exceeds 50% when the angular separation is greater than 3--4$\times 10^{-1}\lambda/D$. For sub-$\lambda/D$ separated sources, the peak positions (obtained with Gaussian fitting) of the output point spread functions are different from the angular positions of sources; the peak position moved from about $0.8\lambda/D$ to $1.0\lambda/D$ as the angular separation of the light source varies from $0.1\lambda/D$ to $1.0\lambda/D$. The off-axis throughput including the fiber-coupling efficiency (with respect to no focal plane mask) is about 40% for 1-$\lambda/D$ separated sources and 10% for 0.5-$\lambda/D$ separated ones (excluding the factor of the ratio of pupil aperture width and Lyot stop width), where we assumed a linear-polarized-light injection. In addition, because this coronagraph can remove point sources on a line in the sky, it has another promising application for high-contrast imaging of exoplanets in binary systems.



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