AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 21. Planetary Systems: Instrumentation and Surveys
Poster, Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[21.02] Experimental design for the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager (XAOPI)

J. R. Graham (UC Berkeley), B. Macintosh (LLNL), A. Ghez (UCLA), P. Kalas, J. Lloyd (UC Berkeley), R. Makidon (STScI), S. Olivier (LLNL), J. Patience (Caltech), M. Perrin (UC Berkeley), L. Poyneer (LLNL), S. Severson, A. Sheinis (UCSC), A Sivaramakrishnan (STScI), M. Troy, J. Wallace (JPL), J. Wilhelmsen (LLNL)

Direct detection of the light emitted by extra-solar planets represents the next major hurdle in the study of extra-solar planets. The NSF Center for Adaptive Optics is carrying out a design study for a dedicated ultra-high-contrast "extreme" adaptive optics (ExAO) planet imager for an 8-m class telescope. The phase space for such a system is large and trade studies are required to choose optimal values of fundamental parameters such as the telescope diameter and delivered Strehl ratio.

To predict the performance of hypothetical AO systems we use models based on Kolmogorov phase screens and Fourier optics. We incorporate additional noise sources such as wavefront measurement error and time-lag errors, and distinguish between the different speckle decorrelation times of each independent error source.

To compute a figure of merit for a particular AO system we need to predict the distribution of contrast and angular separation on the sky for planets. There is a large and growing of sample of precision radial velocity detected planets, which can be used to constrain the orbital elements and masses of the underlying population. When combined with the star formation history of the solar neighborhood (or ages of local, young associations), cooling curves and young planet model atmospheres this information can be used to predict how many systems can be detected with different experimental designs.

We present results which allow us to evaluate the impact of different AO design choices, observing wavelengths, and target selection. Our technique also allows us to compare and quantify the selection effects associated with precision radial velocity, astrometric and direct imaging searches.

This work was supported by the NSF Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by UC Santa Cruz under AST-9876783. Portions of this work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

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