An H-band vector vortex coronagraph for the subaru coronagraphic extreme adaptive optics system

J. Kühn, E. Serabyn, J. Lozi, N. Jovanovic, T. Currie, O. Guyon, T. Kudo, F. Martinache, K. Liewer, G. Singh, M. Tamura, D. Mawet, J. Hagelberg, D. Defrere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The vector vortex is a coronagraphic imaging mode of the recently commissioned Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) platform on the 8 m Subaru Telescope. This multi-purpose high-contrast visible and near-infrared (R- to K-band) instrument is not only intended to serve as a VLT-class “planet-imager” instrument in the northern hemisphere, but also to operate as a technology demonstration testbed ahead of the ELTs-era, with a particular emphasis on small inner-working angle (IWA) coronagraphic capabilities. The given priority to small-IWA imaging led to the early design choice to incorporate focal-plane phase-mask coronagraphs. In this context, a test H-band vector vortex liquid crystal polymer waveplate was provided to SCExAO, to allow a one-to-one comparison of different small-IWA techniques on the same telescope instrument, before considering further steps. Here we present a detailed overview of the vector vortex coronagraph, from its installation and performances on the SCExAO optical bench, to the on-sky results in the extreme AO regime, as of late 2016/early 2017. To this purpose, we also provide a few recent on-sky imaging examples, notably high-contrast ADI detection of the planetary-mass companion κ Andromedae b, with a signal-to-noise ratio above 100 reached in less than 10 mn exposure time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035001
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number985
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Infrared: Planetary systems
  • Instrumentation: High angular resolution
  • Planets and satellites: Detection
  • Techniques: High angular resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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