Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

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Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Borislav on 10th May 2009, 5:27 pm

On the one hand -

http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/finds/
The Planetary Society is teaming up with planet hunters Geoff Marcy of the University of California at Berkeley and Debra Fischer of San Francisco State University to help with the quest to find other "Earths," other worlds like our own, elsewhere in our galaxy.
The project is called FINDS Exo-Earths (which stands for Fiber-optic Improved Next generation Doppler Search for Exo-Earths).
This new high-end optical system will be installed on the 3-meter telescope at the Lick Observatory, dramatically increasing discoveries of smaller exoplanets and playing a crucial role in verifying Earth-sized planet candidates from the Kepler planet-hunter mission.

On the other hand -

http://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/documents/ExoplanetCommunityReport.pdf
Automated Planet Finder Telescope: This is a completely robotic 2.4 m telescope under construction at the Lick Observatory (commissioning expected in June 2009), equipped with a high-resolution spectrograph designed to give an RV precision of 1 m s–1 to allow the Doppler detection of planets with masses as small as 5 M⊕.

http://ucodirector.blogspot.com/2007/11/uco-newsletter-december-2007.html
Automatic Planet Finder (APF): The APF telescope had first light at the EOST factory in Tucson late last Fall and passed Factory Acceptance Tests in February. The telescope is now packed for shipping and due to arrive at Mt Hamilton on April 6 (!). We are on a very tight schedule for signoff by USNO and the Navy before June 30, 2009. There has been a large amount of heroic work going on in the background to work with EOST to bring this facility on line. A crew from EOS has been at Mt Hamilton completing the final punchlist items for the dome and that will be ready for installation of the telescope. The Levy Spectrometer has been largely completed in Santa Cruz for the last 6 months. A new telescope at Mt Hamilton is an exciting event. This particular facility--a system optimized for extra-solar planet discovery and dedicated to that purpose--is extraordinarily exciting.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 10th May 2009, 6:23 pm

Pretty neat. I heard that a copy of HARPS was built to help confirm Kepler candidates as well.

I'm sure Kepler will have the same agonizing problem CoRoT has, long follow-up times.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Borislav on 18th November 2009, 5:56 pm

http://ucodirector.blogspot.com/2009/10/uco-newsletter-6-october-2009.html

April 21, 2009 the Automated Planet Finder Telescope was installed in the dome! Initial testing showed this to be a very good telescope. By June 11, sufficient tuning and testing had been completed that Ken Johnston of the US Naval Observatory signed off for USNO after reviewing the performance test data and watching the telescope and dome be run through a series of motions.
The UCO contracts with EOS (dome) and EOST (telescope) have additional performance requirements. As of the end of September, we are very close to completion and final signoff. One problem, that the back focal distance is not right for the spectrometer, is being addressed with a new secondary being fabricated and coated in the UCO labs.Once the final acceptance of the telescope and dome is made, the Levy Spectrometer will be installed. All spectrometer components are completed and final alignment and end-to-end testing is starting mid-October.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Borislav on 18th November 2009, 6:14 pm


Gloria and Kenneth Levy provided major support for the APF's spectrometer

http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/text.asp?pid=3188
Lick Observatory honors Kenneth and Gloria Levy with inaugural James Lick Award

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Borislav on 1st December 2009, 3:54 pm

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/astro2010/DetailFileDisplay.aspx?id=194
The upcoming UCO/Lick 2.4-m Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope was funded
through a DOD grant and will be an important component of the California-Carnegie
team’s strategy toward the detection of rocky planets. The APF will be fed stars
harvested from the large target lists of the Lick and Keck survey. These will be stars that
are highly pre-selected, already known to be quiet enough to reveal earth-mass planets,
yet have larger velocity variations than they should be based on their activity indexes
(and hence probably showing a planet signal). With such highly pre-selected candidates,
the intense cadence of the APF will then quickly be able to lock onto the period, and dig
out the small signals through brute sampling statistics (monitoring a strictly periodic
signal against a background of white noise). Unfortunately, at only 2.4-m aperture, the
APF will require ~45-minute exposures at V ~ 6 to achieve 1 m/s. So a 2.4-m telescope
can only survey the ~100 nearest stars with difficulty. Moreover, it cannot do better than
1 m/s because a 2.4-m telescope simply does not deliver enough photons.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Borislav on 13th September 2010, 2:43 am

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/21/MND11EPIMA.DTL
When the new telescope with its 94.5-inch mirror goes into action this fall, it will operate unattended and autonomously night after night, year after year, searching for evidence of exoplanets - rocky planets in deep space that, like Earth, orbit their suns at distances just right to make them suitable places for life.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Galzi on 1st August 2012, 6:01 am

The FINDS project has already upgraded the Hamilton spectrograph on Lick and its concepts has been used to improve SOPHIE performances:

http://exoplanets.astro.yale.edu/~jspronck/webs/Publications_files/SPIE_2010_FINDS.pdf
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.2256

We have designed a ber feed for the Hamilton spectrograph to be used with the 3-m telescope at Lick Observatory. This ber feed has an end-to-end throughput of 65% and was located behind the slit in order to keep using the current guiding system. Using the ber feed, we have conducted di erent tests that show drastic improvements in pupil illumination and in PSF stability. We also have demonstrated a 30% reduction in systematic errors using the ber feed. We are currently testing in the lab a much more compact system that should replace the current prototype in the coming months.

We have successfully implemented octagonal-section fiber pieces in SOPHIE spectrograph fiber links using FC to FC mating sleeves. For the first time, the improvement by comparison with circular only- fiber links has been clearly demonstrated by tests directly on the sky with SOPHIE spectrograph. Scientific validation for exoplanet search and characterization has been started by observing standard radial velocity stars. The Doppler precision on a time scale of 20 days is better than 2 m.s-1. Long term performance will be tested in the next months. We showed that the guiding, centering and seeing effects on the near field of the entrance fiber are reduced by more than a factor 6 thanks to the octagonal fiber and are now below 2 m.s-1. The precision of the simultaneous drift measurement at 0.22 m.s-1 in HR mode is now close to the photon noise of the Thorium-Argon spectra. The better precision achieved allows further investigation of other instrumental effects at the level of 1 m.s-1.

They are working to realize an adequate FINDS prototype for Keck's Hires:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/amir-alexander/20110401.html

On the other hand it will be interesting to have some news about APF, apparently it's in commissioning phase for some years now..


Last edited by Galzi on 7th September 2012, 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Galzi on 7th September 2012, 12:53 pm

A technical paper describing the expected performance of APF:

http://loen.ucolick.org/2010_SPIE_Papers_Posters/Radovan_SPIE_paper.pdf

The Levy Spectrometer has been designed to produce the highest possible spectral stability. The space-frame structure is used in new ways to create passive compensation for the residual errors that have been predicted from an integrated optical and mechanical analysis. We expect to achieve radial velocity measurement accuracies better than 1 meter per second on the 2.4 meter Automated Planet Finder Telescope. In fall of 2010 this facility will begin dedicated observing to find earth analogs.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Galzi on 6th November 2012, 12:41 pm

Apparently a few technical problems have delayed APF scientific operations.

From the UCO-Lick bulletins:

http://www.ucolick.org/ucoac/meeting55_minutes.pdf

19 March 2012: APF (Automatic Planet Finder) Update: The initial radial velocity precision (with no optimization or temperature stabilization) was 8 m/s. Various problems with the telescope and dome continue to hamper progress, but there has been a steady string of additional tests and adjustments. This is a significant effort from the Santa Cruz campus with Steve Vogt fully engaged, and regular contributions from the engineering and technical staff at UC Santa Cruz. We need to establish some agreements about operations, and some operations funding must be identified.

http://www.ucolick.org/ucoac/meeting56_minutes.pdf

17 July 2012: APF (Automatic Planet Finder) Status: Various problems with the telescope and dome continue to hamper progress: there are telescope oscillations at some locations in the sky, an inability to home has recently developed, and the dome does not keep up with the telescope at full slow during cold weather.

However, with spectrometer adjustments, the slit images now look good, and the pointspread function (PSF) is under 3 pixels FWHM. The PSF looks excellent across the entire format. With a 0.5" slit, the average sigma of the Gaussian PSF in the iodine region is about 0.9 pixels (resolution R ≈ 116,000). Unfinished issues involve implementation and tuning of the temperature control of the enclosure; we are in the process of obtaining good focus vs. temperature calibrations. In June/July, data were being obtained to establish the precision limits, but then the latest telescope problems halted observations.

Getting the APF to work properly should be a top priority for Mt. Hamilton. EOST has gone out of the telescope business, transferred warranty responsibility to EOS Australia. A request has been made for a “tiger” team for servo tuning, and access to proprietary software and board schematics. Also we need to establish some agreements about operations, and some operations funding must be identified.

http://www.ucolick.org/ucoac/meeting57/minutes100912.pdf

9 October 2012: APF: Some problems have been solved by the "tiger team". The problems of telescope oscillations in the elevation and azimuth drives problem have not yet been fully solved but are better understood. The Readiness Review is scheduled for mid-november 16. Measurements with the spectrograph indicate that throughput is only 60% of nominal but image quality is good. Geoff Marcy has obtained funding from the Keck foundation to build a new fiber-fed spectrograph. When capabilities are known after the Readiness Review, a workshop will be held to assess systemwide interest in observing with the telescope.

Still to wait to see the first automated spectrograph entirely dedicated to exoplanets search starting scientific operations.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Galzi on 10th August 2013, 5:31 am

Paper about technical problems encountered during the shipping of APF Spectrograph:

ftp://ftp.iaa.es/pub/miguelan/SPIE/DVD%201/DATA/8446_320.PDF

Apparently APF is now in operation, according to this May 2013 poster:

http://hoffman.cm.utexas.edu/courses/Science_exoplanet_intro.pdf

Because radial velocity measurement is so slow, both teams are aiming to develop new instruments and telescopes dedicated to planet searching. The HIRES team has built the Automated Planet Finder, a 2.4-meter telescope and spectrometer on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California. Its spectrometer  is about as sensitive as that of HIRES, and starting this month it will spend all night, every night looking for planets—taking 25 spectra per night.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Shellface on 1st March 2014, 8:00 pm

APF - The Lick Observatory Automated Planet Finder

The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a facility purpose-built for the discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-cadence Doppler velocimetry of the reflex barycentric accelerations of their host stars. Located atop Mt. Hamilton, the APF facility consists of a 2.4-m telescope and its Levy spectrometer, an optical echelle spectrometer optimized for precision Doppler velocimetry. APF features a fixed format spectral range from 374 nm - 970 nm, and delivers a "Throughput" (resolution * slit width product) of 114,000 arc-seconds, with spectral resolutions up to 150,000. Overall system efficiency (fraction of photons incident on the primary mirror that are detected by the science CCD) on blaze at 560 nm in planet-hunting mode is 15%. First-light tests on the RV standard stars HD 185144 and HD 9407 demonstrate sub-meter per second precision (RMS per observation) held over a 3-month period. This paper reviews the basic features of the telescope, dome, and spectrometer, and gives a brief summary of first-light performance.
The APF is in operation, and is achieving RV precision of around 1 m/s, which is comparable to that of Keck-HIRES. After the demise of the previous Lick spectrograph, things are looking very promising indeed!

This paper uses the standard stars HD 185144 (Sigma Draconis, Alsafi) and HD 9407 to test the APF's precision. The former, which is the 4th nearest G-dwarf including the Sun, shows growing indication of periodic RV variation:

The Keck/HIRES-only data's power spectrum (top panel) shows signifi cant power near 300-d and a likely alias near 2800-d. The 300-d peak seems to be the real signal as fitting it out also completely removes the 2800-d peak. The former is well-fi t by a 310-d planet of minimum mass = 11.2M in a low-eccentricity orbit. The latter appears to be partly coming from the power spectral window of the data set itself, since the extent of the most heavily sampled data series is indeed the same, about 7-8 years.
We conclude that the supposed RV-null star HD 185144 exhibits a constant period, phase stable signal that has persisted for over 9 years. And while we have not attempted to rule out other possible causes, this signal is consistent with Keplerian motion from a 308-d Uranus-mass companion that is close to being publishable.…
Since it is uncharacteristic for dwarfs to vary at periods of around a year… possibly Sigma Draconis b? Excuse me while I go squeal.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Sunchaser on 2nd March 2014, 1:41 pm

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Wait for me!

-M-
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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 27th March 2014, 6:24 am

Lick's new Automated Planet Finder: First Robotic Telescope for Planet Hunters
http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=42883

"The first two planetary systems detected by the APF were initially suspected based on data Vogt's team got at Keck, but were only confirmed after repeated observations with the APF. One of the systems (HD 141399) consists of four gas giant planets, similar to the four gas giants in our solar system except that their orbits are much closer to their star. The other system (GJ 687) features a Neptune-mass planet orbiting a red dwarf star."

Edit: Papers
HD 141399 http://www.oklo.org/HD141399.pdf
GJ 687 http://www.oklo.org/GL687.pdf

The latter system is only 4.5 pc away.

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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

Post by Lazarus on 28th March 2014, 1:46 pm

Multiple low-eccentricity giant planets at distances similar to the solar system's terrestrial planets - looks a bit like Mu Arae (excluding the hot Neptune). Wonder what the constraints are on low-mass inner planets.
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Re: Mess new spectrograf California group - FINDS Exo-Earths or APF (RPF) ?

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