An engineered design of a diffractive mask for high precision astrometry

Kaitlin Dennison, S. Mark Ammons, Vincent Garrel, Eduardo Marin, Gaetano Sivo, Eduardo Bendek, Oliver Guyon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


AutoCAD, Zemax Optic Studio 15, and Interactive Data Language (IDL) with the Proper Library are used to computationally model and test a diffractive mask (DiM) suitable for use in the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) on the Gemini South Telescope. Systematic errors in telescope imagery are produced when the light travels through the adaptive optics system of the telescope. DiM is a transparent, flat optic with a pattern of miniscule dots lithographically applied to it. It is added ahead of the adaptive optics system in the telescope in order to produce diffraction spots that will encode systematic errors in the optics after it. Once these errors are encoded, they can be corrected for. DiM will allow for more accurate measurements in astrometry and thus improve exoplanet detection. The mechanics and physical attributes of the DiM are modeled in AutoCAD. Zemax models the ray propagation of point sources of light through the telescope. IDL and Proper simulate the wavefront and image results of the telescope. Aberrations are added to the Zemax and IDL models to test how the diffraction spots from the DiM change in the final images. Based on the Zemax and IDL results, the diffraction spots are able to encode the systematic aberrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems V
EditorsEnrico Marchetti, Jean-Pierre Veran, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601970
StatePublished - 2016
EventAdaptive Optics Systems V - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems V
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Adaptive optics
  • Astrometry
  • AutoCAD
  • Diffractive
  • Exoplanet
  • IDL
  • Zemax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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