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Status of a high contrast bench in the framework of the E-ELT

Abstract 127

Submitted by Marion MAS


M. Mas, G. Rousset, P. Baudoz, R. Galicher, J. Baudrand, C. Coton




The aim of the « Exo-Planets Imaging Camera and Spectrograph » (EPICS) is to detect exoplanets using the method of direct detection. It will be the planet imager of the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and will combine extreme Adaptive Optics and coronagraphy. In the framework of this instrument, an optical bench is being set up within the « Laboratoire d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique » (LESIA). With this bench, we will test a new high contrast technique, the Self-Coherent Camera (SCC). As already described in Galicher et al. (2008), the SCC is able to measure the incoming phase defects and, in the same time, detect a faint companion in the residual speckle field. To reach high contrast detection, both coronagraphy and Adaptive Optics are used to make measurements with the SCC. The principle of the instrument is based on interferences between two beams. One of them is spatially filtered using a pinhole which stops the high frequencies. The recombination of these two beams takes place at the pupil plane in a Fizeau type setup. As a result, the residual aberrations after the Adaptive optics system will be encoded with fringes. To test this instrument in laboratory environment, we are developing a test bench which will combine high performance coronagraph (Four Quadrant Mask coronagraph), an extreme Adaptive Optics (32x32 actuators) and the SCC itself. We will present the status of the bench development and the preliminary results on both aspects: the phase estimation and the planet detection.