Laboratory demonstration of the triple-grating vector vortex coronagraph

David S. Doelman, Mireille Ouellet, Axel Potier, Garreth Ruane, Kyle van Gorkom, Sebastiaan Y. Haffert, Ewan S. Douglas, Frans Snik

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


The future Habitable Worlds Observatory aims to characterize the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets around solar-type stars. The vector vortex coronagraph (VVC) is a main candidate to reach the required contrast of 1010. However, the VVC requires polarization filtering and every observing band requires a different VVC. The triple-grating vector vortex coronagraph (tgVVC) aims to mitigate these limitations by combining multiple gratings that minimize the polarization leakage over a large spectral bandwidth. In this paper, we present laboratory results of a tgVVC prototype using the In-Air Coronagraphic Testbed (IACT) facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Space Coronagraph Optical Bench (SCoOB) at the University of Arizona Space Astrophysics Lab (UASAL). We study the coronagraphic performance with polarization filtering at 633 nm and reach a similar average contrast of 2 × 108 between 3-18 λ/D at the IACT, and 6 × 108 between 3-14 λ/D at SCoOB. We explore the limitations of the tgVVC by comparing the testbed results. We report on other manufacturing errors and ways to mitigate their impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI
EditorsGarreth J. Ruane
ISBN (Electronic)9781510665743
StatePublished - 2023
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2023Aug 24 2023

Publication series

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


ConferenceTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • coronagraphy
  • direct imaging
  • exoplanets
  • High-contrast imaging
  • vortex coronagraph

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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