AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 68 Extra-Solar Planets II: Current Searches, Properties and Analysis
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[68.26] Optimal Observing Strategy for Multi-Object Spectrograph Planet Surveys

S. R. Kane (University of Florida), D. Schneider (Penn State University), J. Ge (University of Florida)

Radial velocity surveys for extra-solar planets generally require substantial amount of large telescope time in order to monitor a sufficient number of stars. Two of the aspects which can limit such surveys are the single-object capabilities of the spectrograph, and an inefficient observing strategy for a given observing window. A multi-object Doppler survey instrument is currently being developed, building on the success of the prototype instrument, Exoplanet Tracker (ET), which is based on the dispersed fixed-delay interferometer design. This new instrument will be used in 2006 with the Sloan 2.5m wide-field telescope in 2006 to perform a wide-angle survey for extra-solar planets, dramatically increasing the detection rate using the Doppler method.

We present simulations of the expected results from the Sloan Doppler survey based on calculated noise models and sensitivity for the instrument and the known distribution of exoplanetary system parameters. This information is used to provide an optimal observing strategy for the survey to maximise the number of planet discoveries. We have also developed an algorithm which optimises follow-up observations in order to constrain period determination and eliminate significant aliases from the periodogram. These methods will be generally applicable to future survey programs searching for periodic variability.

We acknowledge the support from the University of Florida, NSF, and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

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