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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Science yield estimate with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope coronagraph
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Paper Abstract

The coronagraph instrument (CGI) on the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope will directly image and spectrally characterize planets and circumstellar disks around nearby stars. Here we estimate the expected science yield of the CGI for known radial-velocity (RV) planets and potential circumstellar disks. The science return is estimated for three types of coronagraphs: the hybrid Lyot and shaped pupil are the currently planned designs, and the phase-induced amplitude apodizing complex mask coronagraph is the backup design. We compare the potential performance of each type for imaging as well as spectroscopy. We find that the RV targets can be imaged in sufficient numbers to produce substantial advances in the science of nearby exoplanets. To illustrate the potential for circumstellar disk detections, we estimate the brightness of zodiacal-type disks, which could be detected simultaneously during RV planet observations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2016
PDF: 17 pages
J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(1) 011020 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011020
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 2, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Wesley A. Traub, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James Breckinridge, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Thomas P. Greene, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Olivier Guyon, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Bruce A. Macintosh, Stanford Univ. (United States)

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