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20 July 2010 The Pathfinder testbed: exploring techniques for achieving precision radial velocities in the near infrared
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The Penn State Pathfinder is a prototype warm fiber-fed Echelle spectrograph with a Hawaii-1 NIR detector that has already demonstrated 7-10 m/s radial velocity precision on integrated sunlight. The Pathfinder testbed was initially setup for the Gemini PRVS design study to enable a systematic exploration of the challenges of achieving high radial velocity precision in the near-infrared, as well as to test possible solutions to these calibration challenges. The current version of the Pathfinder has an R3 echelle grating, and delivers a resolution of R~50,000 in the Y, J or H bands of the spectrum. We will discuss the on sky-performance of the Pathfinder during an engineering test run at the Hobby Eberly Telescope as well the results of velocity observations of M dwarfs. We will also discuss the unique calibration techniques we have explored, like Uranium-Neon hollow cathode lamps, notch filter, and modal noise mitigation to enable high precision radial velocity observation in the NIR. The Pathfinder is a prototype testbed precursor of a cooled high-resolution NIR spectrograph capable of high radial velocity precision and of finding low mass planets around mid-late M dwarfs.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Larry W. Ramsey, Suvrath Mahadevan, Stephen Redman, Chad Bender, Arpita Roy, Stephanie Zonak, Steinn Sigurdsson, and Alex Wolszczan "The Pathfinder testbed: exploring techniques for achieving precision radial velocities in the near infrared", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 773571 (20 July 2010);


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