Automated alignment and on-sky performance of the Gemini planet imager coronagraph

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055752
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TypeArticle
Proceedings titleSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering. Proceedings
ConferenceGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 22 June 2014 through 26 June 2014
ISSN0277-786X
ISBN9780819496157
Volume9147
Article number914740
SubjectAdaptive optics; Alignment; Astronomy; Automated operations; Gemini Planet Imager; GPI; High contrast imaging; Extrasolar planets
AbstractThe Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation, facility instrument currently being commissioned at the Gemini South observatory. GPI combines an extreme adaptive optics system and integral field spectrograph (IFS) with an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph (APLC) producing an unprecedented capability for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. GPI's operating goal of 10-7 contrast requires very precise alignments between the various elements of the coronagraph (two pupil masks and one focal plane mask) and active control of the beam path throughout the instrument. Here, we describe the techniques used to automatically align GPI and maintain the alignment throughout the course of science observations. We discuss the particular challenges of maintaining precision alignments on a Cassegrain mounted instrument and strategies that we have developed that allow GPI to achieve high contrast even in poor seeing conditions.
Publication date
PublisherSPIE
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21275493
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Record identifierb791c626-954d-4a95-85c6-bcbc53238c0c
Record created2015-07-14
Record modified2017-04-24
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