August 8, 2023 - August 10, 2023


400 S. Wilson Ave. Pasadena, CA 91106
›› view map

August 8-10, 2023

Remote participation is available

Chairs: Brendan Crill (NASA/JPL) and Laura Coyle (Ball Aerospace)

Artists concept of exoplanets. Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA has begun planning for an ambitious program to develop the Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) – the first in a panchromatic suite of Great Observatories recommended by the Astro2020 Decadal Survey. The high-level science goals of the mission are to directly image ~25 potentially Earth-like planets and spectroscopically characterize them for signs of life, as well as enable transformative general astrophysics. The starlight suppression capability of HWO will require significant performance advances both in coronagraphy and telescope stability.

To establish a common foundation in starlight suppression and ultra-stable telescope technologies, NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program is holding this hybrid workshop, August 8-10, 2023.

The goals of this free hybrid (in-person/remote) workshop are to:

  • Discuss current best understanding of required starlight suppression performance levels
  • Present the best performances to-date of key technologies and approaches (lab demonstrations, modeling, hardware)
  • Discuss the suppression/stability trade space for the observatory and the coronagraph (note: this will not include performing trades, only mapping out the space).
  • Discuss remaining technical gaps and potential future efforts for maturation/risk reduction
  • Provide a foundation for those interested in contributing to the Habitable Worlds Observatory
Examples of technology

We encourage broad attendance from students new to the field to experts with decades of experience. In keeping with NASA and the community’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA), those with diverse and/or under-represented backgrounds are especially encouraged to attend. To maintain accessibility for a broad audience, no previous knowledge is expected beyond basic operations of an IR/O/UV telescope.

The organizing committee will be soliciting summary talks from experts in relevant areas and the schedule will provide time for open debate and discussion. At the completion of the workshop, attendees will be knowledgeable in the technical basis of coronagraph performance needs, current capabilities, and remaining gaps/risks as well as the overall coronagraph-observatory stability trade space.



Start Time (PT) Duration (h:mm) Speaker Title
7:30 0:30 Check in
8:00 0:15 Nick Siegler NASA JPL, ExEP Program Chief Technologist Welcome
Laura Coyle Ball Aerospace Agenda
Jennifer Gregory NASA JPL, ExEP Logistics
Chair: Mike McElwain
8:15 0:15 Mark Clampin, NASA HQ, Astrophysics Division Director Habitable Worlds Observatory Overview
8:30 0:30 Shawn Domagal-Goldman, NASA HQ, GOMAP Scientist Recent HWO-Related Studies
9:00 0:30 Paul Scowen, NASA GSFC General Astrophysics Needs and Coronagraphy
9:30 0:30 Laurent Pueyo, STScI Considerations Between Coronagraph Robustness and Telescope Stability
10:00 0:10 Laurie Leshin, NASA JPL, Director Welcome
10:10 0:20 BREAK (20 minutes)
10:30 0:30 Chris Stark, NASA GSFC Exoplanet Yield Modeling
11:00 0:30 Open Discussion (Video)
Chair: Nick Siegler
11:30 0:45 Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Basic Principles of Coronagraphy
(Video - for both)
Vanessa Bailey, NASA JPL The Roman Coronagraph Instrument
12:15 1:00 LUNCH (1 hour)
13:15 0:20 Brendan Crill, NASA JPL, ExEP Coronagraph Technology Gaps
13:35 0:40 Bertrand Mennessen, NASA JPL
Emiel Por, STScI
Coronagraph Testbed Results
14:15 0:30 John Krist, NASA JPL Roman Coronagraph Modeling and Error Budget
14:45 0:20 Tyler Groff, NASA GSFC Deformable Mirror Technology Roadmap
15:05 0:30 Open Discussion (Video)
15:35 end of day 1 talks
15:35 1:00+ Optional Afternoon Social- meet in the courtyard for hors d'oeuvres and socializing


Start Time (PT) Duration (h:mm) Speaker Title
CORONAGRAPHY (continued)
Chair: Nick Siegler
8:00 0:20 Rus Belikov, NASA ARC Coronagraph Design Survey
8:20 0:30 Pin Chen, NASA JPL, ExEP Coronagraph Technology Roadmap
8:50 0:30 Garreth Ruane, NASA JPL Coronagraph Testbed Next Steps
9:20 0:30 Olivier Guyon, University of Arizona Coronagraph Approaches to Relax Telescope Requirements
9:50 1:00 Open Discussion (Video)
10:50 0:20 BREAK (20 minutes)
Chair: Alison Nordt
11:10 0:15 Sara Seager, MIT Starshade Introduction
11:25 0:45 Stuart Shaklan, NASA JPL
Doug Lisman, NASA JPL
Starshade Attributes
12:10 1:00 LUNCH (1 hour)
13:10 0:25 Rhonda Morgan, NASA JPL Starshade Yields
13:35 0:05 Brendan Crill, NASA JPL, ExEP Starshade Technology Gaps
13:40 0:25 Stuart Shaklan, NASA JPL Optical Performance and Formation Sensing
14:05 0:05 Brendan Crill, NASA JPL, ExEP Assessing Starshade Technology Readiness
14:10 0:25 Manan Arya, Stanford Mechanical Deployment and Stability and Ongoing Mechanical Activities and Next Steps
14:35 0:20 Serena Ferraro, NASA JPL
14:55 0:35 Open Discussion (Video)
15:30 end of day 2 talks
15:30 1:00+ Optional Afternoon Social- meet in the courtyard for hors d'oeuvres and socializing


Start Time (PT) Duration (h:mm) Speaker Title
Ultra-Stable Observatory
Chair: Chris Stark
8:00 1:00 Lee Feinberg, NASA GSFC
Laura Coyle, Ball Aerospace
Dave Redding, NASA JPL
John Tesch, NASA JPL
Breann Sitarski, NASA GSFC
Ultrastable Roadmap Working Group Overview and Status, HWO Stability Goals
9:00 0:40 Mike McElwain, NASA GSFC JWST Stability
9:40 0:30 Alice Liu, NASA GSFC Roman Space Telescope: Stability Performance for Coronagraph
10:10 0:20 BREAK (20 minutes)
10:30 0:20 Laura Coyle, Ball Aerospace Error Budgeting
10:50 0:20 Alain Carrier, Lockheed Martin Integrated Modeling
11:10 0:30 Mike Menzel, NASA GSFC Micrometeroids
11:30 0:30 Open Discussion (Video)
12:00 1:00 LUNCH (1 hour)
Chair: Dimitri Mawet
13:00 0:30 Shawn Domagal-Goldman, NASA HQ, GOMAP Scientist How is NASA Structuring GOMAP and Work Towards HWO?
13:30 John K. Ziemer, NASA JPL Concept Maturity Levels in Pre-Phase A
13:30 0:45 Lee Feinberg, NASA GSFC System Considerations for HWO
Marie Levine, NASA JPL Developing an Error Budget for GOMAP Studies
14:15 0:20 Brendan Crill, NASA JPL, ExEP Deputy Prog Chief Technologist Funded Work Addressing Technology Gaps
14:35 0:20 Chris Stark, NASA GSFC Science Risks
14:55 0:20 Rus Belikov, NASA ARC
Roser Juanola Parramon, NASA GSFC
Risks, Concerns, Opportunities identified during the workshop
15:15 0:30 Open Discussion (Video)
15:45 0:15 Nick Siegler NASA JPL, ExEP Program Chief Technologist Workshop Wrapup
16:00 Conclude Workshop

Virtual Posters

Name Institution Title
Oscar S. Alvarez-Salazar NASA JPL On the Enabling Benefits of Micro-Thrusters to Star Light Suppression Architectures
Arielle Bertrou-Cantou Caltech The High-Contrast Spectroscopy Testbed for Segmented Telescopes: experimental results with an apodized vortex coronagraph.
Jamal Chafi LPHEA, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Oukaimeden Observatory, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco. Lyot Coronagraphy with Apodized Pupil Using Interferometric Homothetic Apodization (IAH) on a Segmented Aperture for Space Telescopes.
Niyati Desai Caltech Experimental Comparison of Scalar vs Vector Vortex Coronagraphs with Dark Hole Digging
Brandon Dube NASA JPL Testbed Demonstration of 10pm-class Low-Order Wavefront Sensing and Control for the Roman Coronagraph Instrument
Kevin Fogarty NASA Ames Research Center Overcoming Exo-Earth Imaging Limitations with the PIAA-Vortex Coronagraph
Cameron Haag NASA JPL Micro-thruster ACS Architecture for Precision Pointing of 6-meter exo-Earth Imaging Space Telescope
Lorenzo König University of Liège Metasurface-based Scalar Vortex Phase Mask in pursuit of 1e-10 contrast
Jonas Kuhn University of Bern SLM-based Active Coronagraphy and Wavefront Control for Segmented Apertures
Jorge Llop-Sayson Caltech Efficient Broadband Wavefront Control With Single Mode Fibers
Colleen Marrese-Reading NASA JPL Electrospray Thrusters for Ultra-stable Telescope Pointing
Skyler Palatnick UC Santa Barbara Prospects for Metasurfaces in Exoplanet Direct Imaging Systems: principles, design, and performance
Jean-Baptiste Ruffio UC San Diego Achieving Exo-Earth sensitivity through Moderate Resolution Spectroscopy
Gene Serabyn NASA JPL Vortex Coronagraph Status
Dan Sirbu NASA Ames Starlight suppression using Multi-Star Wavefront Control to enable direct imaging of exoplanets around binary stars with the Habitable Worlds Observatory
John Trauger NASA JPL A hardware implementation for low-order wavefront sensing and control in exoplanet imaging
Mel Ulmer Northwestern University A Novel DM Technology to Dig Deeper Darker and Wider Holes
Kyle Van Gorkom University of Arizona Space Coronagraph Optical Bech: a vacuum testbed for high contrast imaging

Code of Conduct

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Attendees of Starlight Suppression Workshop are expected to abide by the following Code of Conduct.

The organizers are committed to making this meeting productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion. We will not tolerate harassment or bullying of participants in any form.

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Behave professionally. Harassment, bullying, and sexist, racist, or exclusionary comments or jokes are not appropriate. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent. It also includes offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.
  • All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate.
  • Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Critique ideas, not people.
  • If participants wish to share photos or contents of talks/slides of any attendee or speaker on social media, we ask that they first get permission.

Participants asked to stop any inappropriate behavior are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules will be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the organizers.

Any participant who wishes to report a violation of this policy is asked to speak, in confidence, to Brendan Crill, Laura Coyle, or Nick Siegler.

This code of conduct is based on the "London Code of Conduct", as originally designed for the conference "Accurate Astrophysics. Correct Cosmology", held in London in July 2015. The London Code of Conduct was adapted with permission by Andrew Pontzen and Hiranya Peiris from a document by Software Carpentry, which itself derives from original Creative Commons documents by PyCon and Geek Feminism. It is released under a CC-Zero licence for reuse. To help track people's improvements and best practice, please retain this acknowledgement, and log your re-use or modification of this policy.

Workshop Logistics


To assist with logistics planning please click the blue "register" button at the top of the page to provide your contact information and plans to attend remote or in person.

There is no fee to attend the workshop.

Venue and Lodging

The workshop will be held at the Beckman Institute at Caltech lcoated at 400 S. Wilson Ave. Pasadena, CA.

Recommended hotels are provided from Caltech and NASA/JPL (shown below - with walking distances to the venue)
Pasadena Hotel and Pool (0.5 mi) | Hilton (1.2 mi) | Sheraton (1.4mi) | Hyatt (1.3mi) | Westin (1.7mi)

Plan Your Trip

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Airports and Ground Transportation

  • Los Angeles International Airport ~30 miles, 1 hour
  • Hollywood/Burbank Airport ~17 miles, 30 minutes
  • Rideshare rates vary between $50-$100

Restaurants Within Walking Distance of Caltech

Starbucks | Nick's | Smitty's Grill | Green Street Restaurant| | Granville | Five Guys | Chipotle | Sugarfish by Sushi

Remote Access

  • Meeting ID 2761 925 5483 password: planets321
  • Audio only 844-575-9329 or see global call in numbers
  • Join by video system
    You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Tools and Resources

Covid Policy

Since the end of the federal public health emergency on May 11, 2023, the California Department of Public Health recommends individuals wear a mask:

  • If you have respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat)
  • If you've had a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days.

No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a venue or business (including schools or childcare), unless wearing a mask would pose a safety hazard.