High performance coronagraphic imaging at small inner working angle requires efficient control of low order aberrations. The absence of accurate pointing control at small separation not only degrades coronagraph starlight rejection but also increases the risk of confusing planet’s photons with starlight leaking next to the coronagraph focal plane mask center. Addressing this issue is essential for preventing coronagraphic leaks, and we have thus developed a new concept, the Lyot-based pointing control system (LPCS), to control pointing errors and other low order aberrations within a coronagraph. The LPCS uses residual starlight reflected by the Lyot stop at the pupil plane. Our simulation has demonstrated pointing errors measurement accuracy between 2-12 nm for tip-tilt at 1.6 micron with a four quadrant phase mask coronagraph.
Date added: Wed, 16 Oct 13