We have developed a process to reliably swap an apodizer in and out of HiCAT, because there are several models we plan to test. The process uses Michelson interferometers and Theodolites to ensure the new apodizer is aligned as closely as possible to the previous.
The first apodizer we used is designed for WFIRST, and while the apodizer is not designed for HiCAT, we were still able to test our swap process. The PSF of the apodized image is so different, there were several software updates required. Specifically, we no longer have our trusty satellite spots to use for image centering. Nevertheless we are close to finishing the software updates, and will soon be able to run speckle nulling to create a dark zone with the apodizer.
In the mean time, check out this beautiful coronographic image using the WFirst apodizer. There is also a sine wave placed on the DM to create speckles on the x-axis.
Left: PSF using the WFIRST apodizer (log scale).
Right: WFIRST apodizer, currently set up on HiCAT.