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Proceedings Paper

The Gemini Planet Imager
Author(s): Bruce Macintosh; James Graham; David Palmer; Rene Doyon; Don Gavel; James Larkin; Ben Oppenheimer; Leslie Saddlemyer; J. Kent Wallace; Brian Bauman; Julia Evans; Darren Erikson; Katie Morzinski; Donald Phillion; Lisa Poyneer; Anand Sivaramakrishnan; Remi Soummer; Simon Thibault; Jean-Pierre Veran
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Paper Abstract

The next major frontier in the study of extrasolar planets is direct imaging detection of the planets themselves. With high-order adaptive optics, careful system design, and advanced coronagraphy, it is possible for an AO system on a 8-m class telescope to achieve contrast levels of 10-7 to 10-8, sufficient to detect warm self-luminous Jovian planets in the solar neighborhood. Such direct detection is sensitive to planets inaccessible to current radial-velocity surveys and allows spectral characterization of the planets, shedding light on planet formation and the structure of other solar systems. We have begun the construction of such a system for the Gemini Observatory. Dubbed the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), this instrument should be deployed in 2010 on the Gemini South telescope. It combines a 2000-actuator MEMS-based AO system, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a precision infrared interferometer for real-time wavefront calibration at the nanometer level, and a infrared integral field spectrograph for detection and characterization of the target planets. GPI will be able to achieve Strehl ratios > 0.9 at 1.65 microns and to observe a broad sample of science targets with I band magnitudes less than 8. In addition to planet detection, GPI will also be capable of polarimetric imaging of circumstellar dust disks, studies of evolved stars, and high-Strehl imaging spectroscopy of bright targets. We present here an overview of the GPI instrument design, an error budget highlighting key technological challenges, and models of the system performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6272, Advances in Adaptive Optics II, 62720L (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672430
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce Macintosh, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
James Graham, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Univ. of California at Berkeley (United States)
David Palmer, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Rene Doyon, Univ. de Montreal (Canada)
Don Gavel, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
James Larkin, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Ben Oppenheimer, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Leslie Saddlemyer, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
J. Kent Wallace, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brian Bauman, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Julia Evans, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Darren Erikson, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
Katie Morzinski, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Donald Phillion, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Lisa Poyneer, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Anand Sivaramakrishnan, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Remi Soummer, NSF Ctr. for Adaptive Optics (United States)
American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Simon Thibault, Immervision (Canada)
Jean-Pierre Veran, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6272:
Advances in Adaptive Optics II
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Domenico Bonaccini Calia, Editor(s)

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