27 June 2006 The Gemini Planet Imager
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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.
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Bruce Macintosh, Bruce Macintosh, James Graham, James Graham, David Palmer, David Palmer, Rene Doyon, Rene Doyon, Don Gavel, Don Gavel, James Larkin, James Larkin, Ben Oppenheimer, Ben Oppenheimer, Leslie Saddlemyer, Leslie Saddlemyer, J. Kent Wallace, J. Kent Wallace, Brian Bauman, Brian Bauman, Julia Evans, Julia Evans, Darren Erikson, Darren Erikson, Katie Morzinski, Katie Morzinski, Donald Phillion, Donald Phillion, Lisa Poyneer, Lisa Poyneer, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Remi Soummer, Remi Soummer, Simon Thibault, Simon Thibault, Jean-Pierre Veran, Jean-Pierre Veran, "The Gemini Planet Imager", Proc. SPIE 6272, Advances in Adaptive Optics II, 62720L (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672430; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.672430


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