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Commissioning and performance results of the WFIRST/PISCES integral field spectrograph

Saxena, Prabal and Rizzo, Maxime J. and Mejia Prada, Camilo and Llop Sayson, Jorge and Gong, Qian and Cady, Eric J. and Mandell, Avi M. and Groff, Tyler D. and McElwain, Michael W. (2017) Commissioning and performance results of the WFIRST/PISCES integral field spectrograph. In: Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII. Proceedings of SPIE. No.10400. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 104001P.

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Direct imaging of exoplanets has become a priority in the field of exoplanet discovery and characterization due to its ability to directly obtain evidence about a planet’s atmosphere and some bulk properties. Features such as atmospheric composition, structure and clouds are just some of the planetary properties obtainable from directly imaged spectra. However, detecting and observing spectra of exoplanets using direct imaging is challenging due to the combination of extreme star to planet contrast ratios and the relatively small apparent physical separation between a host star and an orbiting planet. Detection of Earth-sized planets in reflected visible light requires contrast ratios of 10^(10), while even detection of Jupiter-sized planets and large young self-luminous planets requires contrast ratios of 10^8 and 10^6, respectively. Consequently, direct detection of exoplanets requires observing strategies which push the boundaries of high contrast imaging. The use of coronagraphy to occult a host star has been combined with adaptive optics (AO) technology to yield a particularly promising means of potentially achieving the required contrast ratios in regions close-in enough to the host star. Ground based adaptive optics systems such as The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument have been able to achieve contrast ratios nearing 10^7 using post-processing techniques and have yielded a number of direct detections of young self-luminous planets. Advancing these technologies onto a space based platform immune to the difficulties posed by the effects of Earth’s atmosphere is the next step in accessing even larger contrast ratios.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Cady, Eric J.0000-0002-8789-2931
Mandell, Avi M.0000-0002-8119-3355
Groff, Tyler D.0000-0001-5978-3247
McElwain, Michael W.0000-0003-0241-8956
Additional Information:© 2017 SPIE. This research was carried out at Goddard Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Coronagraphy, Exoplanets, Integral Field Spectrograph, High Contrast, WFIRST, PISCES, Spectroscopy, Data Reduction
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:10400
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180216-090558873
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Prabal Saxena, Maxime J. Rizzo, Camilo Mejia Prada, Jorge Llop Sayson, Qian Gong, Eric J. Cady, Avi M. Mandell, Tyler D. Groff, Michael W. McElwain, "Commissioning and performance results of the WFIRST/PISCES integral field spectrograph", Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 104001P (1 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2272653;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84863
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Feb 2018 21:26
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:23

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