Special Section on WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraphs

Science yield estimate with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope coronagraph

[+] Author Affiliations
Wesley A. Traub

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, M/S 321-100, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, California 91109, United States

James Breckinridge

California Institute of Technology, M/S 105-50, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91125, United States

Thomas P. Greene

NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-6, Moffett Field, California 94035, United States

Olivier Guyon

University of Arizona, Steward Observatory & College of Optical Sciences, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85721, United States

N. Jeremy Kasdin

Princeton University, C234 Engineering Quadrangle, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, United States

Bruce Macintosh

Stanford University, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Varian Physics Building, 382 Via Pueblo Mall, Stanford, California 94305, United States

J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(1), 011020 (Mar 18, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011020
History: Received June 15, 2015; Accepted February 22, 2016
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Abstract.  The coronagraph instrument (CGI) on the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope will directly image and spectrally characterize planets and circumstellar disks around nearby stars. Here we estimate the expected science yield of the CGI for known radial-velocity (RV) planets and potential circumstellar disks. The science return is estimated for three types of coronagraphs: the hybrid Lyot and shaped pupil are the currently planned designs, and the phase-induced amplitude apodizing complex mask coronagraph is the backup design. We compare the potential performance of each type for imaging as well as spectroscopy. We find that the RV targets can be imaged in sufficient numbers to produce substantial advances in the science of nearby exoplanets. To illustrate the potential for circumstellar disk detections, we estimate the brightness of zodiacal-type disks, which could be detected simultaneously during RV planet observations.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Wesley A. Traub ; James Breckinridge ; Thomas P. Greene ; Olivier Guyon ; N. Jeremy Kasdin, et al.
"Science yield estimate with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope coronagraph", J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 2(1), 011020 (Mar 18, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011020


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