Simulating the effects of exozodiacal dust in WFIRST CGI observations

Ewan S. Douglas, John Debes, Kian Milani, Yinzi Xin, Kerri L. Cahoy, Nikole K. Lewis, Bruce Macintosh

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

3 Scopus citations


The WFIRST Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) will image the environment close to stars at orders of magnitude higher sensitivity than current observatories. In addition to directly imaging giant exoplanets, WFIRST CGI has unprecedented sensitivity to scattered light from circumstellar dust. Most modeling has been confined to the dark-hole regime of the coronagraph (approximately 0.15 arcsec to 1 arcsec). This work uses publicly available field-dependent point spread functions to model an exozodiacal disk within the 0.15 arcsec inner working angle. For this simple Solar System-like test case, we find an approximately 25% increase in the transmitted exozodiacal flux due to light inside the inner working angle. We also describe plans to accelerate and extend this modeling to a wider range of geometries, and to quantify the impact on post-processing and source detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX
EditorsStuart B. Shaklan
ISBN (Electronic)9781510629271
StatePublished - 2019
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2019Aug 15 2019

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 IX 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Coronagraphs
  • Debris disks
  • Exozodi

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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