Wavefront control architecture and expected performance for the TMT Planetary Systems Imager

Olivier Guyon, Benjamin Mazin, Michael Fitzgerald, Dimitri Mawet, Christian Marois, Andy Skemer, Julien Lozi, Jared Males

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

12 Scopus citations


The Planetary Systems Imager (PSI) is a modular instrument optimized for direct imaging and characterization of exoplanet and disks with the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). PSI will operate across a wide wavelength range (≈0.6 - 5μm) to image exoplanets and circumstellar disks in both reflected light and thermal emission. Thanks to the TMT's large collecting area, PSI will have the sensitivity to directly image and spectrally characterize large gaseous planets with unprecedented sensitivity. PSI will also be capable of imaging rocky planets in the habitable zones of the nearest M-type stars in reflected light and search for biomarkers in their atmospheres. Imaging habitable planets in reflected light is PSI's most challenging goal, requiring high contrast imaging (HCI) capabilities well beyond what current instruments achieve. This science goal drives PSI's wavefront sensing and control requirements and defines the corresponding architecture discussed in this paper. We show that PSI must deliver 1e-5 image contrast ≈15 mas separation at λ ≈ 1μm-1.5μm, and that a conventional extreme-AO architecture relying on a single high speed wavefront sensor (WFS) is not sufficient to meet this requirement. We propose a wavefront control architecture relying on both visible light (λ < 1.1 μm) sensing to optimize sensitivity, and near-IR (λ > 1.1 μm) sensors to address wavefront chromaticity terms and provide high contrast imaging capability. We show that this combination will enable speckle halo suppression at the < 1e-5 raw contrast level in near-IR, allowing detection and spectroscopic characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets orbiting nearby M-type stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VI
EditorsDirk Schmidt, Laura Schreiber, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Print)9781510619593
StatePublished - 2018
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VI 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

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


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems VI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Coronagraphy
  • Exoplanets
  • High Contrast Imaging

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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