We report on the Achromatic Interfero Coronagraph, a focal imaging device which aims at rejecting the energy contribution of a point-like source set on-axis, so as to make detectable its angularly-close environment (applicable to stellar environment: circumstellar matter, faint companions, planetary systems, but also conceivably to Active Galactic Nucleii and multiple asteroïds).
With AIC, starlight rejection is based on destructive interference, which allows exploration of the star’s neighbourhood at an angular resolution better than the diffraction limit of the hosting telescope. Thanks to the focus crossing property of light, rejection is achromatic thus yielding a large spectral bandwidth of work. Descriptions and comments are given regarding the principle, the device itself, the constraints and limitations, and the theoretical performance. Results are presented which demonstrate the close-sensing capability and which show images of a companion obtained in laboratory and ‘on the sky’ as well. A short pictorial description of the alternative AIC concepts, CIAXE and Open-Air CIAXE, currently under study, is given.
Rabbia, Y., Gay, J. and Rivet, J.P., "The Achromatic Interfero Coronagraph", Comptes Rendus Physique, 8, pp. 385-395 (2007) (doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2007.04.003)