Simulations for multi-object spectrograph planet surveys

Stephen R. Kane, Donald P. Schneider, Jian Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Radial velocity surveys for extrasolar planets generally require substantial amounts 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. In addition, the detection rate of extrasolar planets using the radial velocity method has thus far been relatively linear with time. With the development of various multi-object Doppler survey instruments, there is growing potential to dramatically increase the detection rate using the Doppler method. Several of these instruments have already begun usage in large-scale surveys for extrasolar planets, such as Fibre Large Array Multi Element Spectrograph (FLAMES) on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and Keck Exoplanet Tracker (ET) on the Sloan 2.5-m wide-field telescope. In order to plan an effective observing strategy for such a program, one must examine the expected results based on a given observing window and target selection. We present simulations of the expected results from a generic multi-object survey based on calculated noise models and sensitivity for the instrument and the known distribution of exoplanetary system parameters. We have developed code for automatically sifting and fitting the planet candidates produced by the survey to allow for fast follow-up observations to be conducted. The techniques presented here may be applied to a wide range of multi-object planet surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1610-1622
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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