Adaptive optics echelle spectrograph for radial velocity studies

Robert O. Reynolds, Jian Ge, Michael Lloyd-Hart, Jill Bechtold

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Radial velocity studies represent the most successful method to date for the detection of extrasolar planets. Although radial velocity (v r) measurement precision of 3 m s -1 is routinely achieved in some programs, it is important to understand and minimize sources of experimental error. Furthermore, velocity variations resulting from astrophysical processes contribute to velocity errors, and must be removed if precision is to be further improved. The use of spectrographs with telescopes having high order adaptive optics (AO) systems offers the possibility of achieving near diffraction-limited very high spectral resolution at visible wavelengths on ground-based telescopes. The small stellar image diameters obtained with adaptively corrected systems allow high resolution without a large loss of light at the spectrograph entrance aperture. The Adaptively Corrected Echelle Spectrograph (ACES), designed at Steward Observatory for a spectral resolution R - 200,000, couples the telescope image to the instrument with an 8-10μm diameter near single-mode optical fiber. The shorter effective slit permits the placement of more echelle orders on the detector after cross dispersion, with a correspondingly greater wavelength coverage per exposure. This simultaneous high resolution and large wavelength coverage can be used to improve the precision of radial velocity studies by improving wavelength calibration, reducing dataset internal errors, and permitting better characterization and removal of effects intrinsic to the stars themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplants - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 5 2003Aug 7 2003


  • Adaptive optics
  • Echelle
  • Extrasolar planets
  • Optical fiber
  • Radial velocity
  • Spectrograph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive optics echelle spectrograph for radial velocity studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this