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Planet Formation Imager (PFI): science vision and key requirements

Kraus, Stefan and Ciardi, David and Millan-Gabet, Rafael (2016) Planet Formation Imager (PFI): science vision and key requirements. In: Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V. Proceedings of SPIE. No.9907. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 99071K. ISBN 9781510601932.

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The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that a breakthrough in angular resolution imaging capabilities is required in order to unravel the processes involved in planet formation. PFI will be optimised to provide a complete census of the protoplanet population at all stellocentric radii and over the age range from 0.1 to ~100 Myr. Within this age period, planetary systems undergo dramatic changes and the final architecture of planetary systems is determined. Our goal is to study the planetary birth on the natural spatial scale where the material is assembled, which is the "Hill Sphere" of the forming planet, and to characterise the protoplanetary cores by measuring their masses and physical properties. Our science working group has investigated the observational characteristics of these young protoplanets as well as the migration mechanisms that might alter the system architecture. We simulated the imprints that the planets leave in the disk and study how PFI could revolutionise areas ranging from exoplanet to extragalactic science. In this contribution we outline the key science drivers of PFI and discuss the requirements that will guide the technology choices, the site selection, and potential science/technology tradeoffs.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kraus, Stefan0000-0001-6017-8773
Ciardi, David0000-0002-5741-3047
Millan-Gabet, Rafael0000-0003-0447-5866
Additional Information:© 2016 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We acknowledge the work of the many colleagues that contributed to our SWG studies. Colleagues from all science backgrounds are invited to join our effort and to contact us via our project website http://www. S.K. acknowledges support from an STFC Rutherford Fellowship (ST/J004030/1) and Philip Leverhulme Prize (PLP-2013-110). Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication makes use of The Data & Analysis Center for Exoplanets (DACE), which is a facility based at the University of Geneva (CH) dedicated to extrasolar planets data visualisation, exchange and analysis. DACE is a platform of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, federating the Swiss expertise in Exoplanet research. The DACE platform is available at
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J004030/1
Leverhulme TrustPLP-2013-110
Subject Keywords:planet formation, protoplanetary disks, extrasolar planets, high angular resolution imaging, interferometry
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:9907
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180717-135417478
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Stefan Kraus, John D. Monnier, Michael J. Ireland, Gaspard Duchêne, Catherine Espaillat, Sebastian Hönig, Attila Juhasz, Chris Mordasini, Johan Olofsson, Claudia Paladini, Keivan Stassun, Neal Turner, Gautam Vasisht, Tim J. Harries, Matthew R. Bate, Jean-François Gonzalez, Alexis Matter, Zhaohuan Zhu, Olja Panic, Zsolt Regaly, Alessandro Morbidelli, Farzana Meru, Sebastian Wolf, John Ilee, Jean-Philippe Berger, Ming Zhao, Quentin Kral, Andreas Morlok, Amy Bonsor, David Ciardi, Stephen R. Kane, Kaitlin Kratter, Greg Laughlin, Joshua Pepper, Sean Raymond, Lucas Labadie, Richard P. Nelson, Gerd Weigelt, Theo ten Brummelaar, Arnaud Pierens, Rene Oudmaijer, Wilhelm Kley, Benjamin Pope, Eric L. N. Jensen, Amelia Bayo, Michael Smith, Tabetha Boyajian, Luis Henry Quiroga-Nuñez, Rafael Millan-Gabet, Andrea Chiavassa, Alexandre Gallenne, Mark Reynolds, Willem-Jan de Wit, Markus Wittkowski, Florentin Millour, Poshak Gandhi, Cristina Ramos Almeida, Almudena Alonso Herrero, Chris Packham, Makoto Kishimoto, Konrad R. W. Tristram, Jörg-Uwe Pott, Jean Surdej, David Buscher, Chris Haniff, Sylvestre Lacour, Romain Petrov, Steve Ridgway, Peter Tuthill, Gerard van Belle, Phil Armitage, Clement Baruteau, Myriam Benisty, Bertram Bitsch, Sijme-Jan Paardekooper, Christophe Pinte, Frederic Masset, Giovanni Rosotti, "Planet Formation Imager (PFI): science vision and key requirements", Proc. SPIE 9907, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V, 99071K (4 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231067;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87930
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jul 2018 21:30
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:01

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