Direct imaging of exoplanets requires the ability to build and maintain a high contrast dark hole (DH) within the science image to a high degree of precision. Current techniques, such as electric field conjugation (EFC), have been demonstrated in the lab and have shown that they are capable of generating a DH with high contrast. To do so, such techniques require continuous wavefront estimate updates that are acquired by interrupting the DH, thereby competing with the science measurement. In this paper, we introduce and demonstrate spatial linear dark field control (LDFC) as a new technique by which the DH contrast can be controlled and maintained without any disruption to the science image. Instead of rebuilding the DH using EFC after it degrades over time, spatial LDFC locks the high contrast dark field (DF) after EFC using the bright field (BF) that responds linearly to wavefront variations that modify both the BF and the DH.
K. Miller, O. Guyon and J. Males
Tue, 14 Mar 17
Comments: 9 pages, 11 images