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Proceedings Paper

The habitable zone planet finder: a proposed high-resolution NIR spectrograph for the Hobby Eberly Telescope to discover low-mass exoplanets around M dwarfs
Author(s): Suvrath Mahadevan; Larry Ramsey; Jason Wright; Michael Endl; Stephen Redman; Chad Bender; Arpita Roy; Stephanie Zonak; Nathaniel Troupe; Leland Engel; Steinn Sigurdsson; Alex Wolszczan; Bo Zhao
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Paper Abstract

The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HZPF) is a proposed instrument for the 10m class Hobby Eberly telescope that will be capable of discovering low mass planets around M dwarfs. HZPF will be fiber-fed, provide a spectral resolution R~ 50,000 and cover the wavelength range 0.9-1.65μm, the Y, J and H NIR bands where most of the flux is emitted by midlate type M stars, and where most of the radial velocity information is concentrated. Enclosed in a chilled vacuum vessel with active temperature control, fiber scrambling and mechanical agitation, HZPF is designed to achieve a radial velocity precision < 3m/s, with a desire to obtain <1m/s for the brightest targets. This instrument will enable a study of the properties of low mass planets around M dwarfs; discover planets in the habitable zones around these stars, as well serve as an essential radial velocity confirmation tool for astrometric and transit detections around late M dwarfs. Radial velocity observation in the near-infrared (NIR) will also enable a search for close in planets around young active stars, complementing the search space enabled by upcoming high-contrast imaging instruments like GPI, SPHERE and PALM3K. Tests with a prototype Pathfinder instrument have already demonstrated the ability to recover radial velocities at 7-10 m/s precision from integrated sunlight and ~15-20 m/s precision on stellar observations at the HET. These tests have also demonstrated the ability to work in the NIR Y and J bands with an un-cooled instrument. We will also discuss lessons learned about calibration and performance from our tests and how they impact the overall design of the HZPF.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77356X (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857551
Show Author Affiliations
Suvrath Mahadevan, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Larry Ramsey, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Jason Wright, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Michael Endl, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Stephen Redman, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Chad Bender, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Arpita Roy, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Stephanie Zonak, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Nathaniel Troupe, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Leland Engel, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Steinn Sigurdsson, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
The Pennsylvannia State Astrobiology Research Ctr. (United States)
Alex Wolszczan, Ctr. for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Bo Zhao, Univ. of Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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