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Paper Abstract

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), currently under construction for the 8-m Gemini South telescope, is a high contrast adaptive optics instrument intended for direct imaging of extrasolar planets and circumstellar disks. GPI will study circumstellar disks using the polarization of disk-scattered starlight. These observations will be obtained using a novel 'integral field polarimetry' mode, in which the dispersing prism of GPI's integral field spectrograph is replaced by a Wollaston prism, providing simultaneous dual polarimetry for each position in the field of view. By splitting polarizations only after the instrument's lenslet array, this design minimizes wavefront differences between the polarization channels, providing optimal contrast for circumstellar dust. A rotating achromatic waveplate provides modulation. End-to-end numerical modeling indicates that GPI will be sensitive to scattered light from debris disks significantly fainter than can currently be imaged. We discuss the tradeoffs and design decisions for GPI polarimetry, describe the calibration and reduction procedures, and present the current status of the instrument. First light is planned for 2011.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7736, Adaptive Optics Systems II, 77365R (28 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857741
Show Author Affiliations
Marshall D. Perrin, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
James R. Graham, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
James E. Larkin, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Sloane Wiktorowicz, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Jérôme Maire, Univ. de Montréal (Canada)
Simon Thibault, ImmerVision (Canada)
Michael P. Fitzgerald, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
René Doyon, Univ. de Montréal (Canada)
Bruce A. Macintosh, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Donald T. Gavel, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Ben R. Oppenheimer, American Museum of Natural History (United States)
David W. Palmer, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Leslie Saddlemyer, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
J. Kent Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7736:
Adaptive Optics Systems II
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Michael Hart; Norbert Hubin; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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