On-sky observations with an achromatic hybrid phase knife coronagraph in the visible
Abe, L., Beaulieu, M., Vakili, F., Gay, J., Rivet, J.P., Dervaux, S. and Domiciano de Souza,

Sunday 28 November 2010 by Ponty Yannick

 Context.The four-quadrant phase mask stellar coronagraph, introduced by D. Rouan et al., is capable of achieving very high dynamical range imaging and was studied in the context of the direct detection of extra-solar planets. Achromatic four-quadrant phase mask is currently being developed for broadband IR applications.

Aims.We report on laboratory and on-sky tests of a prototype coronagraph in the visible. This prototype, the achromatic hybrid phase knife coronagraph, was derived from the four-quadrant phase mask principle.

Methods.The instrumental setup implementing the coronagraph itself was designed to record the pre- and post-coronagraphic images simultaneously so that an efficient real-time image selection procedure can be performed. We describe the coronagraph and the associated tools that enable robust and repeatable observations. We present an algorithm of image selection that has been tested against the real on-sky data of the binary star HD 80081 (* 38 Lyn).

Results.Although the observing conditions were poor, the efficiency of the proposed method is proven. From this experiment, we derive procedures that can apply to future focal instruments associating adaptive optics and coronagraphy, targeting high dynamic range imaging in astronomy, such as detecting extra-solar planets.

 

 Abe, L., Beaulieu, M., Vakili, F., Gay, J., Rivet, J.P., Dervaux, S. and Domiciano de Souza, A., "On-sky observations with an achromatic hybrid phase knife coronagraph in the visible", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 461, pp. 365-371 (2007) (doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20065150)