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Optical vortex coronagraphs on ground-based telescopes

Research paper by Charles Jenkins

Indexed on: 03 Sep '07Published on: 03 Sep '07Published in: Astrophysics



Abstract

The optical vortex coronagraph is potentially a remarkably effective device, at least for an ideal unobstructed telescope. Most ground-based telescopes however suffer from central obscuration and also have to operate through the aberrations of the turbulent atmosphere. This note analyzes the performance of the optical vortex in these circumstances and compares to some other designs, showing that it performs similarly in this situation. There is a large class of coronagraphs of this general type, and choosing between them in particular applications depends on details of performance at small off-axis distances and uniformity of response in the focal plane. Issues of manufacturability to the necessary tolerances are also likely to be important.