Ruslan Belikov

Ruslan Belikov


Ruslan Belikov is the head of the Ames Coronagraph Experiment (ACE) research group at NASA Ames. Under Belikov’s leadership, ACE has been successfully maturing the PIAA coronagraph and wavefront control technologies, as well as pushing the state-of-the art in high contrast imaging performance at the diffraction limit. Belikov is also the PI of the Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite mission concept, a member of the Exo-C mission concept Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), and takes part in the coronagraph technology development effort for the WFIST-AFTA mission. Finally, Belikov is a member of Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) executive committee.


2001-2004 Ph. D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California. Thesis: Diffraction-based optical filtering: Theory and implementation with MEMS. GPA: 4.032. Degree conferred on Jan. 06, 2005. Advisor: Olav Solgaard.

1999-2001 M. S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California. GPA: 4.071. Degree conferred on Apr. 05, 2001.

1995-1999 B. S. with high honors in Electrical Engineering, and certificates in Engineering Physics and Applied Mathematics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. GPA: 3.72. Degree conferred on June 1, 1999.

Research Interests:

Direct imaging and spectral characterization of exoplanets, especially potentially habitable ones

Alpha Centauri planetary system

High contrast imaging technology and missions

Select Publications:

Belikov, R., Bendek, E. A., Thomas, S., J., Males, J. R., Lozi, J., “How to directly image a habitable planet around Alpha Centauri with a ~30-45cm space telescope,” Proc SPIE 9605-41, (2015).

Newman, K., Conway, J., Belikov, R., Guyon, O., “Focal Plane Masks for PIAA: Design and Manufacturing,” accepted for publication by PASP (2015).

Thomas, S., Belikov, R., Bendek, E., “Techniques for High Contrast Imaging in Multi-Star Systems I: Super-Nyquist Wavefront Control,” accepted for publication by ApJ (2015).

Guyon, O., Hinz, P.M., Cady, E., Belikov, R., Martinache, F., “High Performance Lyot and PIAA Coronagraphy for Arbitrary Shaped Telescope Apertures,” ApJ 780, Iss. 2 (2014).

Boccaletti, A., Schneider, J., Traub, W., Lagage, P.-O., Stam, D., Gratton, R., Trauger, J., Cahoy, K., Snik, F., Baudoz, P., Galicher, R., Reess, J.-M., Mawet, D., Augereau, J.-C., Patience, J., Kuchner, M., Wyatt, M., Pantin, E., Maire, A.-L., Verinaud, C., Ronayette, S., Dubreuil, D., Min, M., Rodenhuis, M., Mesa, D., Belikov, R., Guyon, O., Tamura, M., Murakami, N., Beerer, I. M., “SPICES: spectro-polarimetric imaging and characterization of exoplanetary systems. From planetary disks to nearby Super Earths,” Experimental Astronomy 34, Iss. 2, pp. 355-384 (2012).

Give’on A., Belikov R., Shaklan S., and Kasdin J., “Closed loop, DM diversity-based, wavefront correction algorithm for high contrast imaging systems,” Optics Express, Vol. 15, Iss. 19, pp. 12338-12343, 09/2007.

Kasdin N. J., Vanderbei R. J., Belikov R., “Shaped Pupil Coronagraphy,” Comptes Rendus Physique, v. 8, iss. 3-4, p. 312-322, 04/2007.

Belikov R., Kasdin N.J., Vanderbei R.J., “Diffraction-based Sensitivity Analysis of Apodized Pupil-Mapping Systems,” ApJ Vol 652, issue 1, pp. 833-844, 11/2006.

Belikov, R., Solgaard, O., “Optical Wavelength Filtering by Diffraction from a Surface Relief,” Opt. Lett., vol 28, No. 6, March 2003.

NASA Missions:

WFIRST: member of the coronagraph technology development team

ACESat (concept): Principal Investigator

Centaur (concept): Co-Investigator

Exo-C (concept): member of the Science and Technology Definition Team

EXCEDE (concept): Lead for the technology development of the Starlight Suppression System

Awards and Other:

World Technology Summit Award finalist (, 10/2015.
Outstanding Early Career Space Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, 3/2013.