Laboratory demonstration of astrometric compensation using a diffractive pupil

Eduardo A. Bendek, Olivier Guyon, S. Mark Ammons, Ruslan Belikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Astrometry is a promising exoplanet detection and characterization technique that can detect earthsize exoplanets if submicroarcsecond precision is achieved. However, instrumentation available today can only reach in the order of 102 microarcseconds, mainly limited by long-term dynamic distortions on wide-field observations. To overcome this problem, we propose the implementation of a diffractive pupil, which has an array of microscopic dots imprinted on the primary mirror coating. The dots create diffractive spikes on the focal plane that are used to calibrate image plane distortions that degrade the astrometric measurement precision. This astrometry technique can be utilized simultaneously with coronagraphy for exhaustive characterization of exoplanets (mass, spectra, orbit). We designed and built an astrometry laboratory to validate the diffractive pupil ability to calibrate distortions and stabilize wide-field astrometric measurements over time. We achieved a precision of 0.0123 px, which represents 42% of the 0.0288 px stability measured for this setup before the calibration. On sky units, this result is equivalent to 3:42 × 10-3λ=D that corresponds to 150 μas for a 2.4 m telescope at 500 nm wavelength. Also, at large field angles the distortion error was reduced by a factor of 5 when the calibration was used, proving its effectiveness for large field of view.We present an astrometry error budget here to explain the source of the residual error observed when the diffractive pupil calibration is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1225
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number932
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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