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The Lyot project: toward exoplanet imaging and spectroscopy

Oppenheimer, Ben R. and Digby, Andrew P. and Newburgh, Laura and Brenner, Douglas and Shara, Michael and Mey, Jacob and Mandeville, Charles and Makidon, Russell B. and Sivaramakrishnan, Anand and Soummer, Remi and Graham, James R. and Kalas, Paul and Perrin, Marshall and Roberts, Lewis C., Jr. and Kuhn, Jeffrey and Whitman, Kathryn and Lloyd, James P. (2004) The Lyot project: toward exoplanet imaging and spectroscopy. In: Advancements in Adaptive Optics. Proceedings of SPIE. No.5490. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 433-442. ISBN 9780819454225.

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Among the adaptive optics systems available to astronomers, the US Air Force Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) is unique because it delivers very high order wave front correction. The Lyot Project includes the construction and installation of the world’s first diffraction-limited, optimized coronagraph that exploits the full astronomical potential of AEOS and represents a critical step toward the long-term goal of directly imaging and studying extrasolar planets (a.k.a. “exoplanets”). We provide an update on the Project, whose coronagraph saw first light in March 2004. The coronagraph is operating at least as well as predicted by simulations, and a survey of nearby stars has begun.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Oppenheimer, Ben R.0000-0001-7130-7681
Soummer, Remi0000-0003-2753-2819
Kalas, Paul0000-0002-6221-5360
Perrin, Marshall0000-0002-3191-8151
Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.0000-0003-3892-2900
Additional Information:© 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The Lyot Project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0334916 and 0215793. Toe Lyot Project grateful acknowledges the support of the US Air Force and NSF in creating the AEOS/ATI opportunity that provides access to the AEOS telescope. Eighty percent of the funds for that program are provided by the US Air Force. The Lyot Project is also grateful to the Cordelia Corporation, the Vincent Astor Fund and two anonymous donors, who enabled the construction of the AMNH lab and initiated the project. Digby and Soummer are supported by Michelson Postdoctoral Fellowships. Perrin is supported by a Michelson Graduate Fellowship. Oppenheimer is partially supported by the American Museum of Natural History's Kalbfleisch Fund. The Lyot Project also recognizes the exemplary efforts of Mike Sweeney and his team at Axsys Technologies who were commissioned to build the custom optics and the focal and pupil plane optical stops. This work is based on observations made at the Maui Space Surveillance System operated by Detachment 15 of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate. Sivaramakrishnan and Makidon acknowledge support from the Space Telescope Science lnstitute's Director's Discretionary Fund.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Cordelia CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Vincent Astor FundUNSPECIFIED
NASA Michelson FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
American Museum of Natural HistoryUNSPECIFIED
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:adaptive optics, coronagraphy, exoplanets, extrasolar planets, instrumentation
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:5490
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190221-110522583
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ben R. Oppenheimer, Andrew P. Digby, Laura Newburgh, Douglas Brenner, Michael Shara, Jacob Mey, Charles Mandeville, Russell B. Makidon, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Remi Soummer, James R. Graham, Paul Kalas, Marshall D. Perrin, Lewis C. Roberts, Jeffrey R. Kuhn, Kathryn Whitman, and James P. Lloyd "The Lyot project: toward exoplanet imaging and spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 5490, Advancements in Adaptive Optics, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552211;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93099
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:26 Feb 2019 21:19
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 16:55

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