Status Report

Architecture design study and technology roadmap for the Planet Formation Imager (PFI)

By SpaceRef Editor
August 4, 2016
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John D. Monnier, Michael J. Ireland, Stefan Kraus, Fabien Baron, Michelle Creech-Eakman, Ruobing Dong, Andrea Isella, Antoine Merand, Ernest Michael, Stefano Minardi, David Mozurkewich, Romain Petrov, Stephen Rinehard, Theo ten Brummelaar, Gautum Vasisht, Ed Wishnow, John Young, Zhaohuan Zhu
(Submitted on 1 Aug 2016)

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) Project has formed a Technical Working Group (TWG) to explore possible facility architectures to meet the primary PFI science goal of imaging planet formation in situ in nearby star- forming regions. The goals of being sensitive to dust emission on solar system scales and resolving the Hill-sphere around forming giant planets can best be accomplished through sub-milliarcsecond imaging in the thermal infrared. Exploiting the 8-13 micron atmospheric window, a ground-based long-baseline interferometer with approximately 20 apertures including 10km baselines will have the necessary resolution to image structure down 0.1 milliarcseconds (0.014 AU) for T Tauri disks in Taurus. Even with large telescopes, this array will not have the sensitivity to directly track fringes in the mid-infrared for our prime targets and a fringe tracking system will be necessary in the near-infrared. While a heterodyne architecture using modern mid-IR laser comb technology remains a competitive option (especially for the intriguing 24 and 40{\mu}m atmospheric windows), the prioritization of 3-5{\mu}m observations of CO/H2O vibrotational levels by the PFI-Science Working Group (SWG) pushes the TWG to require vacuum pipe beam transport with potentially cooled optics. We present here a preliminary study of simulated L- and N-band PFI observations of a realistic 4-planet disk simulation, finding 21×2.5m PFI can easily detect the accreting protoplanets in both L and N-band but can see non-accreting planets only in L band. (abridged — see PDF for full abstract)

Comments: 12 pages, 4 Figures, Proceedings of SPIE 2016
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:1608.00580 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1608.00580v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Stefan Kraus
[v1] Mon, 1 Aug 2016 20:00:04 GMT (1934kb,D)

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