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Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array I: design, commissioning, and early photometric results

Swift, Jonathan J. and Bottom, Michael and Riddle, Reed and Herzig, Erich and Lin, Brian and Gardner, Paul (2015) Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array I: design, commissioning, and early photometric results. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 1 (2). Art. No. 027002. ISSN 2329-4124.

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The Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a U.S.-based observational facility dedicated to the discovery and characterization of exoplanets around a nearby sample of bright stars. MINERVA employs a robotic array of four 0.7-m telescopes outfitted for both high-resolution spectroscopy and photometry, and is designed for completely autonomous operation. The primary science program is a dedicated radial velocity survey and the secondary science objective is to obtain high-precision transit light curves. The modular design of the facility and the flexibility of our hardware allows for both science programs to be pursued simultaneously, while the robotic control software provides a robust and efficient means to carry out nightly observations. We describe the design of MINERVA, including major hardware components, software, and science goals. The telescopes and photometry cameras are characterized at our test facility on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, and their on-sky performance is validated. The design and simulated performance of the spectrograph is briefly discussed as we await its completion. New observations from our test facility demonstrate sub-mmag photometric precision of one of our radial velocity survey targets, and we present new transit observations and fits of WASP-52b—a known hot-Jupiter with an inflated radius and misaligned orbit. The process of relocating the MINERVA hardware to its final destination at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona has begun, and science operations are expected to commence in 2015.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Swift, Jonathan J.0000-0002-9486-818X
Bottom, Michael0000-0003-1341-5531
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Additional Information:© 2015 The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Received November 1, 2014; Accepted March 16, 2015. Published online Apr. 21, 2015. This work was partially supported by funding from the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. MINERVA hardware has been partially funded by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities funding scheme (project LE140100050). We are grateful to the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their generous funding of MINERVA hardware and personnel. C.H.B. is supported by a NASA Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Exoplanets and Habitable WorldsUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilLE140100050
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:telescopes; observational; radial velocity; photometric; planetary systems; individual (WASP-52)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161018-075810507
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Official Citation:Swift JJ, Bottom M, Johnson JA, et al; Miniature exoplanet radial velocity array i: design, commissioning, and early photometric results. J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 0001;1(2):027002. doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.1.2.027002.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:71200
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Oct 2016 16:49
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:04

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