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MAPS – the MMT Adaptive optics exo-Planet characterization System

Presentation #628.15 in the session Future Missions and Instrumentation.

Published onApr 03, 2024
MAPS – the MMT Adaptive optics exo-Planet characterization System

The MMT Adaptive optics exoPlanet characterization System (MAPS) is an exoplanet characterization program that encompasses instrument development, observational science, and education. MAPS will characterize the composition and physical characteristics of substellar companions including systems with close-in orbits identified by transit and radial velocity techniques, and wide-orbit companions identified by direct imaging. The MAPS spectral coverage will provide a single snapshot observation covering much of the 1 to 5 micron range (with gaps) at a high spectral resolution R~45,000. An upgrade is being proposed for an ultra-high resolution mode at R~90,000. The adaptive optics (AO) system has a versatile optical/infrared wavefront sensor based on two pyramid wavefront sensors (one optical, one infrared) to lock on obscured or faint guide stars, incorporating two state-of-the-art detectors than can be used to optimize the AO correction for a broad range of targets, with the control loop operating at up to a1 kHz rate. The 6.5m MMT telescope will have an upgraded adaptive secondary mirror with 336 actuators to improve the performance while preserving the desired low backgrounds for long wavelength observations. With the completed MAPS instrument, we will execute a 60-night science program to characterize the atmospheric composition and dynamics of ~50-75 exoplanets applying either a cross-correlation approach to close-orbit exoplanets or spatially resolved spectroscopy for imaged exoplanets. First-light AO images have been obtained from the upgraded adaptive secondary, and we present the current system status, along with plans for the science and education programs.

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