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Community exoplanet imaging data challenge for Roman CGI and starshade rendezvous

Turnbull, Margaret C. and Zimmerman, Neil and Girard, Julien H. and Hildebrandt, Sergi R. and Li, Zhexing and Bogat, Ell and Gonzalez-Quiles, Junellie and Stark, Christopher and Mandell, Avi and Meshkat, Tiffany and Kane, Stephen R. (2021) Community exoplanet imaging data challenge for Roman CGI and starshade rendezvous. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 7 (2). Art. No. 021218. ISSN 2329-4124. doi:10.1117/1.jatis.7.2.021218.

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Operating in an unprecedented contrast regime (10⁻⁷ to 10⁻⁹ ), the Roman Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) will serve as a pathfinder for key technologies needed for future Earth-finding missions such as HabEx and LUVOIR. The Roman Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge (Roman EIDC) was a community engagement effort that tasked participants with extracting exoplanets and their orbits for a 47-UMa-like target star given: (1) 15 years of simulated precursor radial velocity (RV) data and (2) six epochs of simulated imaging taken over the course of the Roman mission. Led by the Turnbull CGI Science Investigation Team, the Roman EIDC was preceded by four tutorial “hack-a-thon” events in Baltimore, Pasadena, New York City, and Tokyo. The Roman EIDC officially launched in October 2019 and ran for 8 months, offering a unique opportunity for exoplanet scientists of all experience levels to get acquainted with realistic near-future imaging data. The Roman EIDC simulated images include four epochs with CGI’s Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) plus two epochs with a starshade (SS) assumed to arrive as part of a Starshade Rendezvous later in the mission. We focus on our in-house analysis of the outermost planet “d,” for which the SS’s higher throughput and lower noise floor present a factor of ∼4 improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio over the narrow-field HLC. We find that, although the RV detection was marginal for planet d, the precursor RV data enabled the mass and orbit to be constrained with only two epochs of SS imaging. Including the HLC images in the analysis results in improved measurements over RV + SS alone, with the greatest gains resulting from images taken at epochs near maximum elongation. Combining the two epochs of SS imaging with the RV + HLC data resulted in a factor of ∼2 better orbit and mass determinations over RV + HLC alone. In summary, the Roman CGI, combined with precursor RV data and latermission SS imaging, forms a powerful trifecta in detecting exoplanets and determining their masses, albedos, and system configurations. While the Roman CGI will break new scientific and technological ground with direct imaging of giant exoplanets within ∼5  AU of V  ˜  5 and brighter stars, a Roman Starshade Rendezvous mission would additionally enable the detection of planets out to ∼8  AU in those systems.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Turnbull, Margaret C.0000-0002-0569-1643
Zimmerman, Neil0000-0001-5484-1516
Girard, Julien H.0000-0001-8627-0404
Hildebrandt, Sergi R.0000-0003-0220-0009
Li, Zhexing0000-0002-4860-7667
Bogat, Ell0000-0002-7325-5990
Gonzalez-Quiles, Junellie0000-0002-9032-8530
Mandell, Avi0000-0002-8119-3355
Meshkat, Tiffany0000-0001-6126-2467
Kane, Stephen R.0000-0002-7084-0529
Alternate Title:A Community Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge for Roman CGI and Starshade Rendezvous
Additional Information:© 2021 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Paper 20175SS received Dec. 1, 2020; accepted for publication May 12, 2021; published online May 28, 2021. This work was funded by NASA Grant NNG16PJ27C, which supports the Turnbull Roman CGI Science Investigation Team. We thank the Hayden Planetarium and Jackie Faherty for an excellent tour of known exoplanet host stars and the Flatiron Institute for hosting the New York City hack-a-thon event. We thank STScI, IPAC, and Motohide Tamura and Masayuki Kuzuhara (University of Tokyo and Astrobiology Center) for hosting hack-a-thons in Baltimore, Pasadena, and Tokyo. We thank John Krist and the JPL project science team for the OS6 simulations, and we thank Sarah Blunt for her many interactions with the Roman EIDC team and participants and for her ongoing work enhancing the extremely useful orbitize! package. We also thank BJ Fulton for contributing his expertise with RadVel. Finally, we thank all of the Hack-a-thon and Data Challenge participants for joining us in this community venture and providing extensive feedback over the last two years.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Roman space telescope; coronagraph; starshade; high contrast imaging; exoplanet; data challenge; HabEx
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210608-094313193
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Margaret C. Turnbull, Neil Zimmerman, Julien H. Girard, Sergi R. Hildebrandt, Zhexing Li, Ell Bogat, Junellie Gonzalez-Quiles, Christopher Stark, Avi Mandell, Tiffany Meshkat, and Stephen R. Kane "Community exoplanet imaging data challenge for Roman CGI and starshade rendezvous," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 7(2), 021218 (28 May 2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109437
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jun 2021 18:58
Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 18:47

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