The Space Coronagraph Optical Bench (SCoOB): 1. Design and Assembly of a Vacuum-compatible Coronagraph Testbed for Spaceborne High-Contrast Imaging Technology

Jaren N. Ashcraft, Heejoo Choi, Ewan S. Douglas, Kevin Derby, Kyle Van Gorkom, Daewook Kim, Ramya Anche, Alex Carter, Olivier Durney, Sebastiaan Haffert, Lori Harrison, Maggie Kautz, Jennifer Lumbres, Jared R. Males, Kian Milani, Oscar M. Montoya, George A. Smith

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

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of spaceborne coronagraphic technology is of paramount importance to the detection of habitable exoplanets in visible light. In space, coronagraphs are able to bypass the limitations imposed by the atmosphere to reach deeper contrasts and detect faint companions close to their host star. To effectively test this technology in a flight-like environment, a high-contrast imaging testbed must be designed for operation in a thermal vacuum (TVAC) chamber. A TVAC-compatible high-contrast imaging testbed is undergoing development at the University of Arizona inspired by a previous mission concept: The Coronagraphic Debris and Exoplanet Exploring Payload (CDEEP). The testbed currently operates at visible wavelengths and features a Boston Micromachines Kilo-C DM for wavefront control. Both a vector vortex coronagraph and a knife-edge Lyot coronagraph operating mode are under test. The optics will be mounted to a 1 x 2 meter pneumatically isolated optical bench designed to operate at 10−8 torr and achieve raw contrasts of 10−8 or better. The validation of our optical surface quality, alignment procedure, and first light results are presented. We also report on the status of the testbed's integration in the vaccum chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsLaura E. Coyle, Shuji Matsuura, Marshall D. Perrin
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653412
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume12180
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period7/17/227/22/22

Keywords

  • TVAC
  • coronagraphy
  • debris disks
  • deformable mirrors
  • small satellites
  • space telescopes
  • 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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