Phase-modulated pupil for achromatic imaging of faint companions

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Planets outside our solar system may harbour life but their faint images are lost in the bright diffraction haloes of their parent stars. Here we show with a simple example that it is possible to suppress the star haloes without substantially weakening the planet signal if starlight, entering a telescope pupil, is phase-modulated in a prescribed pattern. The modulation remains effective throughout the entire visible light band and for a wide range of view angles. Furthermore, “phase only” modulation over the pupil suggests an attractive possibility of using a single optical element (deformable mirror) for simultaneously removing diffraction haloes and correcting phase errors.

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Copyright © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physleta.2003.10.075

Publication Title

Physics Letters A