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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Capabilities and performance of the Automated Planet Finder telescope with the implementation of a dynamic scheduler
Author(s): Jennifer Burt; Bradford P. Holden; Russell Hanson; Paul Butler; Sandy Keiser; Gregory Laughlin; Steven Vogt; William T. S. Deich

Paper Abstract

We report initial performance results emerging from 600 h of observations with the Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope and Levy spectrometer located at UCO/Lick Observatory. We have obtained multiple spectra of 80 G, K, and M-type stars, which comprise 4954 individual Doppler radial velocity (RV) measurements with a median internal uncertainty of 1.35  ms1. We find a strong, expected correlation between the number of photons accumulated in the 5000 to 6200 Å iodine region of the spectrum and the resulting internal uncertainty estimates. Additionally, we find an offset between the population of G and K stars and the M stars within the dataset when comparing these parameters. As a consequence of their increased spectral line densities, M-type stars permit the same level of internal uncertainty with 2× fewer photons than G-type and K-type stars. When observing M stars, we show that the APF/Levy has essentially the same speed-on-sky as Keck/high resolution echelle spectrometer (HIRES) for precision RVs. In the interest of using the APF for long-duration RV surveys, we have designed and implemented a dynamic scheduling algorithm. We discuss the operation of the scheduler, which monitors ambient conditions and combines on-sky information with a database of survey targets to make intelligent, real-time targeting decisions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2015
PDF: 14 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 1(4) 044003 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.4.044003
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Jennifer Burt, Univ. of California Observatories (United States)
Bradford P. Holden, Univ. of California Observatories (United States)
Russell Hanson, Univ. of California Observatories (United States)
Paul Butler, Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)
Sandy Keiser, Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)
Gregory Laughlin, Univ. of California Observatories (United States)
Steven Vogt, Lick Observatory (United States)
William T. S. Deich, Univ. of California Observatories (United States)


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