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18 March 2016 Science yield estimate with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope coronagraph
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The coronagraph instrument (CGI) on the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope will directly image and spectrally characterize planets and circumstellar disks around nearby stars. Here we estimate the expected science yield of the CGI for known radial-velocity (RV) planets and potential circumstellar disks. The science return is estimated for three types of coronagraphs: the hybrid Lyot and shaped pupil are the currently planned designs, and the phase-induced amplitude apodizing complex mask coronagraph is the backup design. We compare the potential performance of each type for imaging as well as spectroscopy. We find that the RV targets can be imaged in sufficient numbers to produce substantial advances in the science of nearby exoplanets. To illustrate the potential for circumstellar disk detections, we estimate the brightness of zodiacal-type disks, which could be detected simultaneously during RV planet observations.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4124/2016/$25.00 © 2016 SPIE
Wesley A. Traub, James Breckinridge, Thomas P. Greene, Olivier Guyon, N. Jeremy Kasdin, and Bruce A. Macintosh "Science yield estimate with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope coronagraph," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 2(1), 011020 (18 March 2016).
Published: 18 March 2016

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