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Proceedings Paper

Gemini Planet Imager coronagraph testbed results
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Paper Abstract

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is an extreme AO coronagraphic integral field unit YJHK spectrograph destined for first light on the 8m Gemini South telescope in 2011. GPI fields a 1500 channel AO system feeding an apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph, and a nIR non-common-path slow wavefront sensor. It targets detection and characterizion of relatively young (<2GYr), self luminous planets up to 10 million times as faint as their primary star. We present the coronagraph subsystem's in-lab performance, and describe the studies required to specify and fabricate the coronagraph. Coronagraphic pupil apodization is implemented with metallic half-tone screens on glass, and the focal plane occulters are deep reactive ion etched holes in optically polished silicon mirrors. Our JH testbed achieves H-band contrast below a million at separations above 5 resolution elements, without using an AO system. We present an overview of the coronagraphic masks and our testbed coronagraphic data. We also demonstrate the performance of an astrometric and photometric grid that enables coronagraphic astrometry relative to the primary star in every exposure, a proven technique that has yielded on-sky precision of the order of a milliarsecond.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 773586 (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.858623
Show Author Affiliations
Anand Sivaramakrishnan, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Rémi Soummer, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Ben R. Oppenheimer, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
G. Lawrence Carr, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Jacob L. Mey, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Doug Brenner, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Charles W. Mandeville, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Neil Zimmerman, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Columbia Univ. (United States)
Bruce A. Macintosh, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
James R. Graham, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Les Saddlemyer, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Brian Bauman, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Alexis Carlotti, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Laurent Pueyo, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Peter G. Tuthill, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Christophe Dorrer, Aktiwave LLC (United States)
Robin Roberts, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
Alexandra Greenbaum, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (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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