Challenges in coronagraph optical design

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

2 Scopus citations


The point spread function (PSF) for astronomical telescopes and instruments depends not only on geometric aberrations and scalar wave diffraction, but also on the apodization and wavefront errors introduced by coatings on reflecting and transmitting surfaces within the optical system. Geometrical ray tracing provides incomplete image simulations for exoplanet coronagraphs with the goal of resolving planets with a brightness less than 10^-9 of their star located within 3 Airy disk radii. The Polaris-M polarization analysis program calculates uncorrected coating polarization aberrations couple around 10^-5 light into crossed polarized diffraction patterns about twice Airy disk size. These wavefronts not corrected by the deformable optics systems. Polarization aberrations expansions have shown how image defects scale with mirror coatings, fold mirror angles, and numerical aperture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Modeling and Performance Predictions IX
EditorsMark A. Kahan, Marie B. Levine-West
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612051
StatePublished - 2017
EventOptical Modeling and Performance Predictions IX 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 7 2017Aug 8 2017

Publication series

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


OtherOptical Modeling and Performance Predictions IX 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Coronagraph
  • Imaging
  • Polarization
  • Polarization aberration
  • Polarization ray tracing

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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