Takayuki Kotani

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (86)110.61 Total impact

  • Optical Review 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10043-015-0118-1 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) instrument is a multipurpose high-contrast imaging platform designed for the discovery and detailed characterization of exoplanetary systems and serves as a testbed for high-contrast imaging technologies for ELTs. It is a multi-band instrument which makes use of light from 600 to 2500nm allowing for coronagraphic direct exoplanet imaging of the inner 3 lambda/D from the stellar host. Wavefront sensing and control are key to the operation of SCExAO. A partial correction of low-order modes is provided by Subaru's facility adaptive optics system with the final correction, including high-order modes, implemented downstream by a combination of a visible pyramid wavefront sensor and a 2000-element deformable mirror. The well corrected NIR (y-K bands) wavefronts can then be injected into any of the available coronagraphs, including but not limited to the phase induced amplitude apodization and the vector vortex coronagraphs, both of which offer an inner working angle as low as 1 lambda/D. Non-common path, low-order aberrations are sensed with a coronagraphic low-order wavefront sensor in the infrared (IR). Low noise, high frame rate, NIR detectors allow for active speckle nulling and coherent differential imaging, while the HAWAII 2RG detector in the HiCIAO imager and/or the CHARIS integral field spectrograph (from mid 2016) can take deeper exposures and/or perform angular, spectral and polarimetric differential imaging. Science in the visible is provided by two interferometric modules: VAMPIRES and FIRST, which enable sub-diffraction limited imaging in the visible region with polarimetric and spectroscopic capabilities respectively. We describe the instrument in detail and present preliminary results both on-sky and in the laboratory.
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 06/2015; DOI:10.1086/682989 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • K. Haze · K. Enya · L. Abe · A. Takahashi · T. Kotani · T. Yamamuro
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    ABSTRACT: We present the fabrication and experimental demonstration of three free-standing binary shaped pupil mask coronagraphs, which are applicable for telescopes with partially obscured pupils. Three masks, designed to be complementary (labeled Mask-A, Mask-B, and Mask-C), were formed in 5 μm thick nickel. The design of Mask-A is based on a one-dimensional barcode mask. The design principle of Mask-B is similar, but has a smaller inner working angle and a lower contrast than Mask-A. Mask-C is based on a concentric ring mask and provides the widest dark region and a symmetric point spread function. Mask-A and Mask-C were both designed to produce a flexibly tailored dark region (i.e., non-uniform contrast). The contrast was evaluated using a light source comprising a broadband super-luminescent light-emitting diode with a center wavelength of 650 nm, and the measurements were carried out in a large vacuum chamber. Active wavefront control was not applied in this work. The coronagraphic images obtained by experiment were mostly consistent with the designs. The contrast of Mask-A within the ranges 3.3–8 λ/D and 8–12 λ/D was ∼ 10−4–10−7 and ∼ 10−7, respectively, where λ is the wavelength and D is the pupil diameter. The contrast of Mask-B was ∼ 10−4 and that of Mask-C over an extended field of view (5–25 λ/D) was ∼ 10−5–10−6. The effect of tilting the masks was investigated, and found to be irrelevant at the ∼ 10−7 contrast level. Therefore the masks can be tilted to avoid ghosting. These high-contrast free-standing masks have the potential to enable coronagraphic imaging over a wide wavelength range using both ground-based and space-borne general-purpose telescopes with pupil structures not specifically designed for coronagraphy.
    Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan 03/2015; 67(2):28-28. DOI:10.1093/pasj/psu161 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spatially-resolved imaging of Herbig stars and related objects began with HST, but intensified with commissioning of high-contrast imagers on 8-m class telescopes. The bulk of the data taken from the ground have been polarized intensity imagery at H-band, with the majority of the sources observed as part of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) survey. Sufficiently many systems have been imaged that we discuss disk properties in scattered, polarized light in terms of groups defined by the IR spectral energy distribution. We find novel phenomena in many of the disks, including spiral density waves, and discuss the disks in terms of clearing mechanisms. Some of the disks have sufficient data to map the dust and gas components, including water ice dissociation products.
    Astrophysics and Space Science 02/2015; 355(2):253-266. DOI:10.1007/s10509-014-2214-2 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A stellar coronagraph system for direct observations of extra solar planets is under development by combining unbalanced nulling interferometer (UNI), adaptive optics, and a focal plane mask coronagraph1,2,3,4,5,6. It can reach a high contrast as using λ/10000 precision optics by λ/1000 quality ones. However, a sufficient high contrast is not obtained yet in the experiment before. It is thought that the remained speckle noise at the final coronagraph focal plane detector are produced by a “non-common path error” of λ/100 level, which is a wavefront error of the coronagraph different from that of a wavefront sensor (WFS) of adaptive optics, even when the WFS indicates λ/1000 conversion. The non-common path error can be removed by the dark zone method that is the way of wavefront correction by wavefront sensing at the final focal plane detector, although it has an issue of operation for very faint targets because of a slow feedback loop. In the present paper, we describe that our coronagraph system becomes practically higher contrast by upgrading the control method of deformable mirror (DM) with the WFS assisted by final focal plane wavefront sensing method. We accomplished contrast of 8×10-7 relative to the star in experiment.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied a coronagraph system with an unbalanced nulling interferometer (UNI). An important characteristic is a pre-reduction of the star light to 1/100 at the UNI stage which enables to enhance the final contrast. In other point of view, the UNI stage magnifies the wavefront aberrations, which lead us to compensate for the wavefront aberrations beyond the AO systems capabilities. It consists of the UNI, adaptive optics, and a coronagraph. In our experiments, we have observed the extra speckle reduction of better than 0.07 by the advantage of the UNI system. In order to obtain better contrast, we planned to reconstruct all of the optics, which use UNI with 4QPM, a coronagraph with 8OPM or VVM, a dual feedback control method, and a wavefront correction inside the UNI by an upstream AO.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: We present the design, fabrication and test results for a dichroic mirror, which was primarily developed for the SPICA Coronagraph Instrument (SCI), but is potentially useful for various types of astronomical instrument. The dichroic mirror is designed to reflect near- and mid-infrared but to transmit visible light. Two designs, one with 3 layers and one with 5 layers on BK7 glass substrates, are presented. The 3-layer design, consisting of Ag and ZnS, is simpler, and the 5-layer design, consisting of Ag and TiO2 is expected to have better performance. Tape tests, evaluation of the surface figure, and measurements of the reflectivity and transmittance were carried out at ambient temperature in air. The reflectivity obtained from measurements made on mirrors with 5 layers were < 80 % for wavelengths, λ, from 1.2 to 22 μm and < 90 % for λ from 1.8 to 20 μm. The transmittance obtained from measurements made on mirrors with 5 layers were < 70 % for λ between 0.4 and 0.8 μm. Optical ghosting is estimated to be smaller than 10-4 at λ < 1.5 μm. A protective coating for preventing corrosion was applied and its influence on the reflectivity and transmittance evaluated. A study examining the trade-offs imposed by various configurations for obtaining a telescope pointing correction signal was also undertaken.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: In this report we describe our development of a prototype inverse-polished mirror for the passive correction of the static and predictable wavefront errors (WFE) of space-based telescopes, in particular, especially for infrared coronagraphs. An artificial WFE pattern with a root mean square (rms) value of 350 nm was numerically generated to facilitate the design of the prototype mirror. The surface of the mirror is approximately flat, is 50.0 mm in diameter and 15.0 mm thick at the edge. The designed WFE pattern was constructed on the mirror surface by micro-polishing. Both the figure and roughness of the mirror surface were evaluated. The rms value of the measured surface figure was reduced to 135 nm after subtraction of the designed surface figure. The benefit of subtraction to mid-infrared coronagraph performance was simulated, which showed the contrast was improved by a factor of ~100 close to the core (closer than 10 λ/D where λ and D are the wavelength and telescope aperture diameter, respectively) of the coronagraphic image of a point source. An analysis of the power spectrum density shows that the lower frequencies in the WFE are well reproduced on the mirror, while the higher frequencies remain due to the limitations imposed on the controllable spatial resolution by the fabrication process. In this study, inverse-polished mirrors combined with deformable mirrors and their application to ground-based telescopes are also discussed. To fully explore the potential of the inverse-polished mirror, a systematic allocation of the error budget is essential taking into account not only the fabrication accuracy of the mirror but also an evaluation of the telescope and other factors with non-predictable uncertainties.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed the Savart-Plate Lateral-shearing Interferometric Nuller for Exoplanets (SPLINE), which is a kind of a nulling interferometer, for directly imaging exoplanets. The SPLINE consists of two polarizers and a Savart plate between them. The SPLINE can theoretically obtain fully achromatic and stable nulled output. However, a drawback of the SPLINE is its low system throughput due to the polarizers. For improving the system throughput, we propose a dualchannel SPLINE using polarization beam splitters instead of the polarizers. We have carried out laboratory demonstration of the dual-channel SPLINE. The achievable contrast of the SPLINE is limited by residual speckles caused by surface roughness of optical elements. For improving the achievable contrast, we propose a method of wavefront correction using a liquid-crystal spatial light modulator (LCSLM). We have carried out preliminary laboratory demonstration using a liquid-crystal variable retarder (LCVR), instead of the LCSLM, for simulating the proposed wavefront correction method. We report the laboratory demonstration in this paper.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
  • SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) instrument is one of a handful of extreme adaptive optics systems set to come online in 2014. The extreme adaptive optics correction is realized by a combination of precise wavefront sensing via a non-modulated pyramid wavefront sensor and a 2000 element deformable mirror. This system has recently begun on-sky commissioning and was operated in closed loop for several minutes at a time with a loop speed of 800 Hz, on ~150 modes. Further suppression of quasi-static speckles is possible via a process called "speckle nulling" which can create a dark hole in a portion of the frame allowing for an enhancement in contrast, and has been successfully tested on-sky. In addition to the wavefront correction there are a suite of coronagraphs on board to null out the host star which include the phase induced amplitude apodization (PIAA), the vector vortex, 8 octant phase mask, 4 quadrant phase mask and shaped pupil versions which operate in the NIR (y-K bands). The PIAA and vector vortex will allow for high contrast imaging down to an angular separation of 1 λ/D to be reached; a factor of 3 closer in than other extreme AO systems. Making use of the left over visible light not used by the wavefront sensor is VAMPIRES and FIRST. These modules are based on aperture masking interferometry and allow for sub-diffraction limited imaging with moderate contrasts of ~100-1000:1. Both modules have undergone initial testing on-sky and are set to be fully commissioned by the end of 2014.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
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    Hajime Kawahara · Naoshi Murakami · Taro Matsuo · Takayuki Kotani
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    ABSTRACT: We propose the application of coronagraphic techniques to the spectroscopic direct detection of exoplanets via the Doppler shift of planetary molecular lines. Even for an unresolved close-in planetary system, we show that the combination of a visible nuller and an extreme adaptive optics system can reduce the photon noise of a main star and increase the total signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the molecular absorption of the exoplanetary atmosphere: it works as a spectroscopic coronagraph. Assuming a 30 m telescope, we demonstrate the benefit of these high-contrast instruments for nearby close-in planets that mimic 55 Cnc b (0.6λ/D of the angular separation in the K band). We find that the tip-tilt error is the most crucial factor; however, low-order speckles also contribute to the noise. Assuming relatively conservative estimates for future wavefront control techniques, the spectroscopic coronagraph can increase the contrast ~50-130 times and enable us to obtain ~3-6 times larger S/N for warm Jupiters and Neptunes at 10 pc than those without it. If the tip-tilt error can be reduced to 0.3 mas (rms), it gains ~10-30 times larger S/N and enables us to detect warm super-Earths with an extremely large telescope. This paper demonstrates the concept of spectroscopic coronagraphy for future spectroscopic direct detection. Further studies of the selection of coronagraphs and tip-tilt sensors will extend the range of application of the spectroscopic direct detection beyond the photon collecting area limit.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 06/2014; 212(2):27. DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/212/2/27 · 14.14 Impact Factor
  • Hajime Kawahara · Naoshi Murakami · Taro Matsuo · Takayuki Kotani
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    Dataset: aa21894-13
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    ABSTRACT: FIRST is a prototype instrument built to demonstrate the capabilities of the pupil remapping technique, using single-mode fibers and working at visible wavelengths. We report on observations of the binary system Capella at three epochs over a period of 14 months with FIRST-18 (that recombines 2 sets of 9 fibers) mounted on the 3-m Shane telescope at Lick Observatory. The binary separation during our observations ranges from 0.8 to 1.2 times the diffraction limit of the telescope at the central wavelength. We successfully resolved the Capella binary system with an astrometric precision as good as 1mas under the best observing conditions. FIRST also gives access to the spectral flux ratio between the two components directly measured with an unprecedented spectral resolution (around 300) over the 600-850nm range. In particular, our data allow to detect the well-known overall slope of the flux ratio spectrum, leading to an estimation of the pivot wavelength of 0.64+/-0.01um, at which the cooler component becomes the brightest. Spectral features arising from the difference in effective temperature (specifically the Halpha line, TiO and CN bands) have been used to constrain the stellar parameters. The effective temperatures we derive for both components are slightly lower (5-7%) than the well-established properties for this system. This difference mainly originates from deeper molecular features than those predicted by state-of-the-art stellar atmospheric models, suggesting that molecular line lists used in the photospheric models are incomplete and/or oscillator strengths are underestimated (most likely concerning the CN molecule). These results demonstrate the power of FIRST, a fibered pupil remapping based instrument, in terms of high angular resolution and show that the direct measurement of the spectral flux ratio provides valuable information to characterize little known companions.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2013; 560. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321894 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most exoplanets detected by direct imaging so far have been characterized by relatively hot (> ~1000 K) and cloudy atmospheres. A surprising feature in some of their atmospheres has been a distinct lack of methane, possibly implying non-equilibrium chemistry. Recently, we reported the discovery of a planetary companion to the Sun-like star GJ 504 using Subaru/HiCIAO within the SEEDS survey. The planet is substantially colder (<600 K) than previously imaged planets, and has indications of fewer clouds, which implies that it represents a new class of planetary atmospheres with expected similarities to late T-type brown dwarfs in the same temperature range. If so, one might also expect the presence of significant methane absorption, which is characteristic of such objects. Here, we report the detection of deep methane absorption in the atmosphere of GJ 504 b, using the Spectral Differential Imaging mode of HiCIAO to distinguish the absorption feature around 1.6 um. We also report updated JHK photometry based on new Ks-band data and a re-analysis of the existing data. The results support the notion that GJ 504 b has atmospheric properties distinct from other imaged exoplanets, and will become a useful reference object for future planets in the same temperature range.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 10/2013; 778(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/778/1/L4 · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We successfully generated a 12.5-GHz-spacing astro-comb ranging over 500 nm from 1250 to 1750 nm in an HN-DSF where the OPS-synthesized pump pulse was launched after the amplification and compression under noise suppression.
    Nonlinear Optics; 07/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Several exoplanets have recently been imaged at wide separations of >10 AU from their parent stars. These span a limited range of ages (<50 Myr) and atmospheric properties, with temperatures of 800--1800 K and very red colors (J - H > 0.5 mag), implying thick cloud covers. Furthermore, substantial model uncertainties exist at these young ages due to the unknown initial conditions at formation, which can lead to an order of magnitude of uncertainty in the modeled planet mass. Here, we report the direct imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet around the Sun-like star GJ 504, detected as part of the SEEDS survey. The system is older than all other known directly-imaged planets; as a result, its estimated mass remains in the planetary regime independent of uncertainties related to choices of initial conditions in the exoplanet modeling. Using the most common exoplanet cooling model, and given the system age of 160 [+350, -60] Myr, GJ 504 b has an estimated mass of 4 [+4.5, -1.0] Jupiter masses, among the lowest of directly imaged planets. Its projected separation of 43.5 AU exceeds the typical outer boundary of ~30 AU predicted for the core accretion mechanism. GJ 504 b is also significantly cooler (510 [+30, -20] K) and has a bluer color (J-H = -0.23 mag) than previously imaged exoplanets, suggesting a largely cloud-free atmosphere accessible to spectroscopic characterization. Thus, it has the potential of providing novel insights into the origins of giant planets, as well as their atmospheric properties.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2013; 774(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/774/1/11 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Imaging the direct light signal from a faint exoplanet against the overwhelming glare of its host star presents one of the fundamental challenges to modern astronomical instrumentation. Achieving sufficient signal-to-noise for detection by direct imaging is limited by three basic physical processes: aberration of the wavefronts (both instrumental and atmospheric), photon noise, and detector noise. In this paper, we advance a novel optical setup which synthesizes the advantages of two different techniques: nulling interferometry to mitigate photon noise, and closure phase to combat optical aberrations. Our design, which employs technology from integrated optics and photonics, is intended to combine the advantageous aspects of both a coronagraph and a non-redundant interferometer. We show that such an instrument would allow readout noise limited detection of exoplanets, even in the presence of residual co-phasing errors. As a result, this concept would be ideal for space interferometry and for ground based observations of bright stellar hosts (apparent magnitude below 10). The method has applicability as a beam-combiner for a long baseline interferometer, or as a competitive alternative to coronagraphy on a large single-mirror telescope.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; 439(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu258 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We successfully generated a 12.5-GHz-spacing astro-comb ranging over 400 nm from 1350 to 1750 nm. A synthesized pulse whose repetition rate directly linked to the spacing was compressed for nonlinearity enhancement and broad astro-comb generation.
    CLEO: Science and Innovations; 06/2013

Publication Stats

194 Citations
110.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2011–2012
    • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
      • Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)
      Chōfu, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2004–2009
    • Observatoire de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2005
    • University of Limoges
      Limages, Limousin, France
  • 2002
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan