The SPEED facility is used in an educational context during teaching lectures given in Licence (L3 - UCA) and Master (M1/M2 Astrophysics MAUCA and soon AstroMundus) degrees.


In Physics license degree, SPEED is part of two elective and supervised projects given in the second semester of the 3rd year on coronography and cophasing optics. 

[1] Coronagraphy: diffractive optics for exoplanets detection

[2] Cophasing optics: active optics for astronomical observations


In Astrophysics master degree, SPEED is part of an instrumental course given in a METEOR (Modules Experiments ThEOry Research) of the MAUCA master's degree ( and in two instrumental courses given in the MASS master's degree (

[3] CSO: Cophasing Segmented Optics ( - M1/M2 MAUCA

[4] Telescope Optics - joint Erasmus Master MASS (Master in Astrophysics and Space Science, compulsory course) 

[5] Cophasing Optics - joint Erasmus Master MASS (Master in Astrophysics and Space Science, compulsory course) 


Summary of courses currently proposed:

 Lecture  University year in which the course was provided
 Supervised project on coronagraphy [1]  2018-2019 / 2019-2020 / 2020-2021
 Supervised project on cophasing [2]  -
 Cophasing Segmented Optics [3]  2018-2019 (M1) / 2019-2020 (M2) / 2021-2022 (M1)
 Telescope Optics [4]  2022-2023 (M1)
 Cophasing Optics [5]  2022-2023 (M1)



As of January 1st 2022, the SPEED project is a 722 k€ project (hardware). Funding came from various sources as described below. The project also received funding support from CNES, Airbus Defense & Space, Région PACA, OCA, EDSFA for PhD contracts, and from the Lagrange laboratory for IUT and Master degrees internships. 

Budget v2



Fresnel/Talbot effect, instrumental contrast design LESIA, France
Self-coherent camera phasing sensor (SCC-PS, cophasing) LESIA, France
ZELDA-PS (cophasing) LAM, France
PIAACMC design study NAOJ, USA

Current team



P. Martinez Scientific manager (PI) 
C. Gouvret  Optical study and AIT manager
J. Dejonghe Opto-mechanical study
M. Beaulieu System study and end-to-end modeling 
A. Marcotto AIT
A. Spang Opto-mechanical ingineering and AIV
I. Lapassat Administrative manager


Former associates



G. Doyen PhD student 2019-2022 (CNES/UCA), PhD withdrew in June 2022
O. Preis Project manager
L. Abe High-contrast simulation and validation expertise
K. Barjot Internship M2
M. Postnikova Internship M2
  PhD student 2017-2020 (CNES/OCA), PhD withdrew in September 2018
P. Janin-Potiron Internship M2 
  PhD student 2014-2017 (Airbus Defense & Space/Région PACA), presently in Postdoc at LAM
Y. Fantei Sofware consultant 
J-B. Daban Project manager
L. David Internship IUT
P. Belzanne Internship IUT
A. Chambinaud Internship IUT
H. Philippon Internship IUT



Publication list with hyperlink 


As of 2022 July 31st the project gathers:

17 conference publications and 8 refereed publications, as well as 2 defended PhD thesis. 


  • Project overview publications

  • The segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection VI. From early design to first lights

      Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2022

  • The segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection V. System control and software infrastructure 

      Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2022

  • The segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection. IV. A versatile image-based wavefront sensor for active optics 

      Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2020

  • The segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection. III. Advances and first light with segment cophasing 

      Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2018

     Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2016

      Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2014

      Martinez et al. ESO Messenger 2015 n°159


  • Experimental results obtained on the SPEED testbed


  • Key hardware studies publications

  • Gearing up the SPEED wavefront shaping strategy 

      Doyen et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2020

  • A metrological characterization of the SPEED test-bed PIAACMC components  

      Barjot et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2020

     Beaulieu et al. MNRAS 2020, 498

     Martinez et al. A&A 2020, Vol. 635, A126

     Martinez, A&A Letter 2019, 629, L10

  • An end-to-end Fresnel propagation model for SPEED : PIAACMC implementation and performance

     Beaulieu et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2018

  • Design, specification and manufacturing of a PIAACMC for the SPEED testbed

     Martinez et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2018

     Janin-Potiron et al. A&A 2017

     Beaulieu et al. MNRAS 2017, 469

     Janin-Potiron et al. A&A 2016, 592, A110

     Janin-Potiron et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2016

      Beaulieu et al. Proceeding of the SPIE 2016

     Janin-Potiron et al. EAS publications series 78-79 2016

     Preis et al. Proceeding of the AO4ELT 4th Edition 2015

     Beaulieu et al. Proceeding of the AO4ELT 4th Edition 2015

     Janin-Potiron et al. Proceeding of the AO4ELT 4th Edition 2015



  • Project related publications 

     Janin-Potiron, Martinez and Carbillet, OSA Continuum  2018 - 1(2), 715-726 

      Martinez and Janin-Potiron, A&A Letter 2016, 593, L1



  • Thesis 

     Janin-Potiron Pierre, Université Côte dAzur 2017 (Prix SF2A 2018)

      Beaulieu Mathilde, Université Côte dAzur 2017





The architectural principle of the SPEED bench is presented in the above diagram. The field of view of interest is restricted to 8 λ/D in radius given the aimed objective of high contrast at small angular separations. The bench is therefore composed of a visible cophasing optical path (in blue) and a near-infrared path (in red) dedicated to high contrast. 

The common path is in orange colour in the 3D CAO view of the bench presented above. The visible path dedicated to the optical cophasing corresponds to the blue lines and the near-infrared path, dedicated to high-contrast imaging, corresponds to the red lines.


The Speed bench is installed in a clean-room environment (ISO7 classroom) at the Lagrange Laboratory, FIZEAU building on the Valrose campus in the city centre of Nice.

SPEED allphoto




The SPEED project is an instrumental facility to study high-contrast imaging techniques with a segmented telescope struggled to very close angular separations in view of the next generation of ground- and space-based observatories. The bench combines a segmented telescope simulator with 163 segments, co-phasing optics (in the optical domain), and multi-DM architecture combined with deep coronagraphic imaging (in the near-infrared). The scientific field of view is from 1 to 8 λ/D in the H-band. In terms of key hardware, the bench combines a super-continuum NKT light source, an integral sphere, a tip/tilt mirror, an IRIS AO PTT489 segmented deformable mirror, 2 Kilo-C deformable mirrors from Boston Micromachines, an SCC-PS and/or ZELDA-PS (cophasing sensors), a PIAACMC (coronagraph), and an SCC. The bench is currently under the AIT phase in an ISO 7 room in the FIZEAU building. The SPEED project benefits from wide local, national, and European support (see at the bottom of the page).

In particular, the SPEED testbed searches for participating in the future instrumental development of an exoplanet hunter around late-type stars (M-stars). 

Three main research axes are studied: 

  • cophasing optics (fine cophasing and monitoring) from the scientific image 
  • very small IWA coronagraphy (inner working angle)
  • active optics with multi-DM for high-contrast imaging (wavefront shaping for dark hole generation)

The testbed will also offer the possibility to study ELT's inherent drawbacks from its segmented nature and emphasize the study of their impact on high-contrast (e.g., missing segment, cophasing residual, mixing XAO residuals and cophasing residuals, etc.)

All the SPEED OAPs have been realized by the OCA optical workshop (D. Vernet).


Crédit: J. Dejonghe - C. Gouvret

3D CAO view of the SPEED test-bed placed on a 1.5 x 2.4 m table with protection panels forming a nearly closed box. Color code: telescope simulator and common path (orange), visible path (blue) and near-infrared path (red). Acronyms: TTM - tip/tilt mirror, OAP - off-axis parabola, ASM - active segmented mirror, DM - deformable mirror, FM - flat mirror, DIC - dichroic, L - lens, SCC-PS - self- coherent camera-phasing sensor, FPM - focal plan (mask), PIAA-M1 & PIAA-M2 - phase induced amplitude apodization mirror 1 & 2, LS - Lyot stop, APOGEE - visible camera, NIT - near-infrared camera, Basler - pupil camera (Vis. and NiR), FF - flip flop mirror, FW - filter wheel.


Fig3 Simulated pupil of the  SPEED telescope simulator exhibiting 30% central obscuration, 6 spiders and 163 segments. 



Simulated NiR PSF image. The Blue circle defines the wavefront shaping DMs cut-off frequency. The red circle defines the field of view (FoV) targetted by the project and is restricted to small angular separations. Green circles localized the first diffractive signatures from the primary mirror segmentation.   




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