Eliminating Poisson's Spot with Linear Programming

  • Robert J. Vanderbei
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-88843-9_24

Part of the Operations Research/Computer Science Interfaces book series (ORCS, volume 47)
Cite this paper as:
Vanderbei R.J. (2009) Eliminating Poisson's Spot with Linear Programming. In: Chinneck J.W., Kristjansson B., Saltzman M.J. (eds) Operations Research and Cyber-Infrastructure. Operations Research/Computer Science Interfaces, vol 47. Springer, Boston, MA


A leading design concept for NASA's upcoming planet-finding space telescope involves placing an occulter 72,000 km in front of a 4-m telescope. The purpose of the occulter is to block the bright starlight thereby enabling the telescope to take pictures of planets orbiting the blocked star. Unfortunately, diffraction effects prevent a simple circular occulter from providing a sufficiently dark shadow—a specially shaped occulter is required. In this paper, I explain how to reduce this shape-optimization problem to a large-scale linear programming problem that can be solved with modern LP tools.

Key words

linear programming large scale optimization optical design high-contrast imaging extrasolar planets 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Vanderbei
    • 1
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrinceton

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