Precision radial velocity spectrograph

Hugh R.A. Jones, John Rayner, Larry Ramsey, David Henry, Bill Dent, David Montgomery, Andy Vick, Derek Ives, Ian Egan, David Lunney, Phil Rees, Adrian Webster, Chris Tinney, Mike Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


We present a conceptual design for a Precision Radial Velocity Spectrograph (PRVS) for the Gemini telescope. PRVS is a fibre fed high resolving power (R~70,000 at 2.5 pixel sampling)cryogenic echelle spectrograph operating in the near infrared (0.95 - 1.8 microns) and is designed to provide 1 m/s radial velocity measurements. We identify the various error sources to overcome in order to the required stability. We have constructed models simulating likely candidates and demonstrated the ability to recover exoplanetary RV signals in the infrared. PRVS should achieve a total RV error of around 1 m/s on a typical M6V star. We use these results as an input to a simulated 5-year survey of nearby M stars. Based on a scaling of optical results, such a survey has the sensitivity to detect several terrestrial mass planets in the habitable zone around nearby stars. PRVS will thus test theoretical planet formation models, which predict an abundance of terrestrial-mass planets around low-mass stars.We have conducted limited experiments with a brass-board instrument on the Sun in the infrared to explore real-world issues achieving better than 10 m/s precision in single 10 s exposures and better than 5 m/s when integrated across a minute of observing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
StatePublished - 2008
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 23 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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