Future Capabilities:

In addition to the currently commissioned modules on SCExAO, we have begun phase II engineering activities. These will bring online the following modules:

  • FIRST:
    FIRST is a unique interferometer operating in the visible which relies on an array of single-mode fibers to remap the pupil and prepare the beams for downstream beam combination. FIRST allows imaging at sub-diffraction limited scales with spectral information. FIRST has had previous engineering and science runs at the Lick Observatory (Shane Telescope) and has been reconfigured for operation within SCExAO. We aim to have FIRST commissioned by the end of 2015. More details and information about the FIRST module can be found on the collaborators page.

  • Fourier lucky imaging:
    Fourier lucky imaging is a technique whereby the strongest Fourier components are taken from each image in a stack of fast frame rate images and a single image is synthesized from the Fourier spectrum. In this way it is possible to do diffraction limited imaging even when the seeing is terrible. This module is currently running in the background at each observing run, collecting data, but we aim for an extensive upgrade in 2015 which will include multiple spectral channels.

  • PIAA Complex mask coronagraph:
    The PIAACMC is an upgrade to the PIAA coronagraph and offers better performance and suppression over a broad bandwidth (i.e. its achromatic across y-K band). It offers a smaller inner working angle (1 λ/D) than the current PIAA coronagraph. This module will be installed and commissioned some time during 2015.

  • 8-Octant Phase Mask Coronagraph:
    We will install an 8-octant Phase Mask coronagraph and pupil reformatting lenses in mid-2015. This will extend the range of coronagraphs available to potential users. The 8-octant phase mask is being developed by the team at Hokkaido University.

  • Infrared polarimetry:
    Infrared polarimetry is currently being discussed for SCExAO. However, we are seeking feedback from the community as to whether a mode is made for HiCAIO or CHARIS only. Feedback is appreciated.

The next engineering runs include the 1st, 2nd and 9th of April, and the 28th and 29th of 2015. Science nights include the 3rd and 4th of January and the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of April and the 30th and 31st of 2015.