Multi-star wavefront control with SCExAO instrument: Demonstration with an internal source

Eugene Pluzhnik, Julien Lozi, Ruslan Belikov, Dan Sirbu, Eduardo Bendek, Olivier Guyon, Kevin Fogarty

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

4 Scopus citations


Although only a small fraction of currently known exoplanets was found in binary and multiple systems, studies show that such stars do form planets, with an efficiency that is smaller, but within an order of magnitude of single stars. However, binaries are rarely considered as targets for exoplanet imaging space missions because of challenges of removing light from the second binary component. In our previous works it was shown how to solve two main issues that make exoplanet imaging in multiple systems impossible, namely, the mutual incoherence of speckles created by different binary components, and inability of a deformable mirror (DM) to control the starlight beyond the DM outer working angle/Nyquist limit. Feasibility of the developed Multi-Star Wavefront Control (MSWC) and Super-Nyquist Wavefront Control (SNWC) algorithms was demonstrated at the Ames Coronagraph Experiment (ACE) laboratory using a simple imaging system with a DM and no coronagraph. In this paper, we report the results our MSWC experiments using the Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adap-Tive Optics (SCExAO) instrument that is part of our technology development effort. The main goal of these experiments is to validate MSWC on a real coronagraphic system by using an internal source to simulate at least one real representative binary target. In our demonstration narrow-band contrast of 4.1 × 10-6 has been reached by using MSWC in a 12 × 6λ/D dark zone separated from the primary component of the simulated binary star (STF 3121 AB) by 4λ/D. This contrast is better by a factor of 13.2 than the contrast floor reached by standard single-star wavefront control (SSWC). We also discuss the main limiting factors that affect the MSWC performance in our experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets X
EditorsStuart B. Shaklan, Garreth J. Ruane
ISBN (Electronic)9781510644847
StatePublished - 2021
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets X 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2021Aug 5 2021

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 X 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Coronagraphy
  • Exoplanets
  • Multi-Star Wavefront Control

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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