Spatial linear dark field control: Stabilizing deep contrast for exoplanet imaging using bright speckles

Kelsey Miller, Olivier Guyon, Jared Males

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Direct imaging of exoplanets requires establishing and maintaining a high-contrast dark field (DF) within the science image to a high degree of precision (10-10). Current approaches aimed at establishing the DF, such as electric field conjugation (EFC), have been demonstrated in the lab and have proven capable of high-contrast DF generation. The same approaches have been considered for the maintenance of the DF as well. However, these methods rely on phase diversity measurements, which require field modulation; this interrupts the DF and consequently competes with the science acquisition. We introduce and demonstrate spatial linear dark field control (LDFC) as an alternative technique by which the high-contrast DF can be maintained without modulation. Once the DF has been established by conventional EFC, spatial LDFC locks the high-contrast state of the DF by operating a closed loop around the linear response of the bright field (BF) to wavefront variations that modify both the BF and the DF. We describe the fundamental operating principles of spatial LDFC and provide numerical simulations of its operation as a DF stabilization technique that is capable of wavefront correction within the DF without interrupting science acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number049002
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • exoplanet direct imaging
  • high-contrast imaging
  • wavefront control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial linear dark field control: Stabilizing deep contrast for exoplanet imaging using bright speckles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this