I am a research professor in NIAOT. My major interest is the direct imaging research of exoplanets from ground and in future space missions. I have spent most of my time in the development of high-contrast imaging technique and instrument since 2007. Recently, I have participated in the high-contrast imaging observation. For ground-based research, we focus on the giant exoplanets with existing middle sized telescopes. As a prototype, our portable adaptive optics (PAO) has been used on both ESO’s 3.58-m NTT (LSO, southern sphere) and the 3.5-m ARC telescopes (APO, northernsphere), which has delivered a diffraction-limited imaging (λ/D, 0.09″) and an observational contrast of 10-6. The PAO will be updated to Extreme AO (Ex-AO) with hundreds of actuators Deformable Mirror (DM), coupled with a coronagraph, polarimetry imaging (PI) system, and the unique IRS data reduction technique, which will finally deliver a contrast of 10-7~10-8. It will be delivered as a facility called EDICT (Exoplanet Direct Imaging Coronagraph on available Telescopes), which will be used for the imaging research of giant planets with all ages (including cool & hot planets) in next five to ten years. The system will be updated to 820-actuator on Chinese 12 meter LOT telescope, which will search for the cool planets and those around faint stars.
Meanwhile, I am leading a group to develop the extreme high contrast for the search of another “Earth” (Earth-twin) in the future space missions. Currently, we have successfully demonstrated a contrast on the order of 10-9 in a relatively large working area, comparing with other groups. A space mission named as Cool Planet Imager (CPI, including two ambitious missions of JEEEDIS and EELS), has been listed in the top among programs in the Strategic Priority Research Program of CAS, Space Astronomy of Year of 2016-2030; as well as supported by the NSFC major programs and etc. In the following 3 years, we will improve the contrast 10 times better by introducing optimal hardwareand optimal testbeds in a vacuum tank, which should finally deliver a contrast of 10-10, which can be used for the direct detection of the Earth-like planets located in the habitable zone of a solar type star. Finally and hopefully, we can realize the direct confirmation of exo-life (extra-terrestrial) signals, by the direct detection of photons form another Earth and spectroscopy analysis of its atmosphere. The project will allow human beings to answer “Are we alone in the universe?”, which is one of the most fundamental scientific questions. Such a discovery will affect human beings' entire perception of our place in the universe, there by extending the Copernican Revolution.
- Phase Quantization Study of Spatial Light Modulator for Extreme High-Contrast Imaging The Astrophysical Journal: 2016 ,832:84 ,11 Abstract
- A High-contrast Imaging Algorithm: Optimized Image Rotation and Subtraction The Astrophysical Journal: 2015 ,802/12 ,6 Abstract
- Speckle Noise Subtraction and Suppression with Adaptive Optics Coronagraphy Imaging The Astrophysical Journal: 2012 ,753 ,10 Abstract
- Design and experimental test of an optical vortex coronagraph Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics: 2017 Abstract
- Design and calibration of a high-sensitivity and high-accuracy polarimeter based on liquid crystal variable retarders Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics: 2017 ,17 ,10 Abstract
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