An H-band vector vortex coronagraph for the Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics system

J. Kühn, E. Serabyn, J. Lozi, N. Jovanovic, T. Currie, O. Guyon, T. Kudo, F. Martinache, K. Liewer, G. Singh, M. Tamura, D. Mawet, J. Hagelberg, D. Defrere

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    The vector vortex is a coronagraphic imaging mode of the recently commissioned Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) platform on the 8 m Subaru Telescope. This multi-purpose high-contrast visible and near-infrared (R- to K-band) instrument is not only intended to serve as a VLT-class “planet-imager” instrument in the northern hemisphere, but also to operate as a technology demonstration testbed ahead of the ELTs-era, with a particular emphasis on small inner-working angle (IWA) coronagraphic capabilities. The given priority to small-IWA imaging led to the early design choice to incorporate focal-plane phase-mask coronagraphs. In this context, a test H-band vector vortex liquid crystal polymer waveplate was provided to SCExAO, to allow a one-to-one comparison of different small-IWA techniques on the same telescope instrument, before considering further steps. Here we present a detailed overview of the vector vortex coronagraph, from its installation and performances on the SCExAO optical bench, to the on-sky results in the extreme AO regime, as of late 2016/early 2017. To this purpose, we also provide a few recent on-sky imaging examples, notably high-contrast ADI detection of the planetary-mass companion κ Andromedae b, with a signal-to-noise ratio above 100 reached in less than 10 mn exposure time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number035001
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    Issue number985
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2018. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Infrared: planetary systems
    • Instrumentation: high angular resolution
    • Planets and satellites: detection
    • Techniques: high angular resolution


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