Abstract

We describe a white light fringe scanning and pupil bisecting method of measuring the optical path difference (OPD) between arms of a monolithic nulling interferometer that is designed to enable direct imaging of planetary companions and the environments around nearby stars. This measurement is used to determine the differential thicknesses of optically contacted compensator plates used to reduce OPD, which can drastically impair the optic’s performance in broadband light. By making this correction, we were able to reduce the initial OPD from 949±44 nm to 63±10 nm. In the absence of any other asymmetries that can compromise the null, such a correction corresponds to an increase in an R-band (λc = 648nm) nulling bandpass from monochromatic to 25%.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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  1. G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  2. J. Harlander, F. Roesler, C. Englert, J. Cardon, R. Conway, C. Brown, and J. Wimperis, “Robust monolithic ultraviolet interferometer for the SHIMMER instrument on STPSat-1,” Appl. Opt. 42, 2829–2834 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. R. N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
    [CrossRef]
  4. O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  5. R. Samuele, J. Wallace, E. Schmidtlin, M. Shao, B. Levine, and S. Fregoso, “Experimental progress and results of a visible nulling coronagraph,” in “Aerospace Conference, 2007 IEEE,” (2007), pp. 1–7.
  6. R. O. Gappinger, R. T. Diaz, A. Ksendzov, P. R. Lawson, O. P. Lay, K. M. Liewer, F. M. Loya, S. R. Martin, E. Serabyn, and J. K. Wallace, “Experimental evaluation of achromatic phase shifters for mid-infrared starlight suppression,” Appl. Opt. 48, 868–880 (2009).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. B. Hicks, T. Cook, B. Lane, and S. Chakrabarti, “Monolithic achromatic nulling interference coronagraph: design and performance,” Appl. Opt. 48, 4963–4977 (2009).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. B. A. Hicks, T. A. Cook, B. F. Lane, C. B. Mendillo, P. Jung, and S. Chakrabarti, “The Monolithic Achromatic Nulling Interference Coronagraph (MANIC) testbed,” Proc. SPIE 7440 (2009).
  9. D. Ren, and E. Serabyn, “Symmetric nulling coronagraph based on a rotational shearing interferometer,” Appl. Opt. 44, 7070–7073 (2005).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. E. Serabyn, “Nulling interferometry: symmetry requirements and experimental results,” Proc. SPIE 4006, 328–339 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  11. L. L. C. Heraeus Quartz America, “Quartz Glass for Optics Data and Properties,” http://www.wilmadlabglass.com/pdf/Heraeus Quartz Properties.pdf (accessed 2010).
  12. E. Friedman, and J. L. Miller, Photonics Rules of Thumb (McGraw-Hill, 2003).

2009 (2)

2006 (1)

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (1)

2003 (1)

2000 (1)

E. Serabyn, “Nulling interferometry: symmetry requirements and experimental results,” Proc. SPIE 4006, 328–339 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1993 (1)

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

1978 (1)

R. N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Alunni, J. M.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Bracewell, R. N.

R. N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Brown, C.

Brun, J.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Brune, S.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Cardon, J.

Chakrabarti, S.

Charlot, P.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Cogger, L. L.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Collins, B.

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Conway, R.

Cook, T.

Diaz, R. T.

Englert, C.

Gappinger, R. O.

Gault, W. A.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Guyon, O.

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Harlander, J.

Hersom, C.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Hicks, B.

Ksendzov, A.

Kuchner, M. J.

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Lane, B.

Lawson, P. R.

Lay, O. P.

Liewer, K. M.

Loya, F. M.

Martin, S. R.

Pluzhnik, E. A.

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Ren, D.

Ridgway, S. T.

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Roesler, F.

Serabyn, E.

Shepherd, G. G.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Solheim, B. H.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Thuillier, G.

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Wallace, J. K.

Wimperis, J.

Appl. Opt. (4)

Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. (1)

O. Guyon, E. A. Pluzhnik, M. J. Kuchner, B. Collins, and S. T. Ridgway, “Theoretical Limits on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection with Coronagraphs,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 167, 81–99 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Geophys. Res. (1)

G. G. Shepherd, G. Thuillier, W. A. Gault, B. H. Solheim, C. Hersom, J. M. Alunni, J. Brun, S. Brune, P. Charlot, and L. L. Cogger, “WINDII, the wind imaging interferometer on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,” J. Geophys. Res. 98, 10725–10750 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

R. N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Proc. SPIE (1)

E. Serabyn, “Nulling interferometry: symmetry requirements and experimental results,” Proc. SPIE 4006, 328–339 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Other (4)

L. L. C. Heraeus Quartz America, “Quartz Glass for Optics Data and Properties,” http://www.wilmadlabglass.com/pdf/Heraeus Quartz Properties.pdf (accessed 2010).

E. Friedman, and J. L. Miller, Photonics Rules of Thumb (McGraw-Hill, 2003).

R. Samuele, J. Wallace, E. Schmidtlin, M. Shao, B. Levine, and S. Fregoso, “Experimental progress and results of a visible nulling coronagraph,” in “Aerospace Conference, 2007 IEEE,” (2007), pp. 1–7.

B. A. Hicks, T. A. Cook, B. F. Lane, C. B. Mendillo, P. Jung, and S. Chakrabarti, “The Monolithic Achromatic Nulling Interference Coronagraph (MANIC) testbed,” Proc. SPIE 7440 (2009).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

MANIC (left) and a schematic of an AO-enabled nulling configuration (right) showing CPs optically contacted to the Porro prisms. The details of the AO scheme and half-pupil mask shown here are beyond the scope of this work (see [7] for details).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Experimental setup schematic (roughly to scale) for measuring OPD internal to the monolith. The axes denote the global coordinate system. Out of plane geometry is not shown. The source is alternately a red HeNe laser used for alignment and calibrating fringe spacing, and a halogen lamp for the OPD measurement. Lens L1 focuses the source on the pinhole (PH) spatial filter. L2 collimates light from the PH. The bounding aperture (BA) sets the beam diameter. The alignment cube (AC) bisects the pupil and redirects the beam halves along static mirror assembly (SMA) and delay mirror assembly (DLA) paths. An auxiliary interferometer formed by elements BS1, BS2, and M2 is used to align the SMA and DLA in angle and path difference. Mirrors M1 and M3 through M7 are for steering.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Each detector image shows the nuller (low frequency fringes) and the auxiliary interferometer (high frequency fringes) output. In image (a) the left side of the nuller output (bounding box labled L) is nulled, the right side of the nuller output (bounding box labeled R) is near the midfringe intensity, and the fringe patterns in the auxiliary interferometer (labeled d and s for delay and static, respectively) appear to be nearly aligned. Note that only partial fringes are sampled inside the bounding boxes. In image (b) the delay line is positioned to null the right half of the nuller output, whereas the left null bounding box intensity is near midfringe. The shift in the delay line is evidenced by the downward shift of its fringes from image (a) to (b).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Two nuller output intensity functions (solid and dotted curves) are generated from a series of detector images (e.g. those shown in fig. (3)), each corresponding to a different location in a slow sawtooth scan of the DLA performed before (left) and after (right) attaching CPs. The two plots above show three sets of traces through the white light fringes observed in each half of the nuller output. The number of frames between the fringe packet minima for each set (approximately 120 and 10 frames for each set in the left and right plots, respectively) are used with the fringe frequency and central wavelength to recover the residual OPD in the optic, pre- and post-correction as described in Eq. (8).

Equations (10)

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σ d A λ L d ( 2 π ) ,
L OPD = B 1 cos [ 2 π l g λ ( n g ( λ ) n a ( λ ) n g ( λ c ) n a ( λ c ) ) ] d λ ,
input ( x , y ) s ( x , y ) d } { R ( x- flip ) T ( y- flip ) ( x , y ) s + ( x , y ) d left null ( x , y ) d + ( x , y ) s right null ,
λ o , c λ HeNe ζ halogen ζ 632.8 ,
Δ left = ( ϕ d + ϕ R ) ( ϕ s + ϕ T ) = 2 π [ ( l d l s ) + n g , λ o , c ( l R l T ) ] λ o , c
Δ right = ( ϕ d + ϕ T ) ( ϕ s + ϕ R ) = 2 π [ ( l d l s ) + n g , λ o , c ( l T l R ) ] λ o , c
n g , λ o , c ( l R l T ) = ( l left l s )
n g , λ o , c ( l T l R ) = ( l right l s ) .
n g , λ o , c ( l R l T ) = ( l left l right ) 2 .
n g , λ o , c ( l R l T ) = λ o , c Λ ( 𝓛 𝓡 ) 2 .

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