Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer: Concept and phased implementation

D. Mawet, P. Wizinowich, R. Dekany, M. Chun, D. Hall, S. Cetre, O. Guyon, J. K. Wallace, B. Bowler, M. Liu, G. Ruane, E. Serabyn, R. Bartos, J. Wang, G. Vasisht, M. Fitzgerald, A. Skemer, M. Ireland, J. Fucik, J. FortneyI. Crossfield, R. Hu, B. Benneke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

50 Scopus citations


The Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) is a cost-effective upgrade path to the W.M. Keck observatory (WMKO) adaptive optics (AO) system, building on the lessons learned from first and second-generation extreme AO (ExAO) coronagraphs. KPIC will explore new scientific niches in exoplanet science, while maturing critical technologies and systems for future ground-based (TMT, EELT, GMT) and space-based planet imagers (HabEx, LUVOIR). The advent of fast low-noise IR cameras (IR-APD, MKIDS, electron injectors), the rapid maturing of efficient wavefront sensing (WFS) techniques (Pyramid, Zernike), small inner working angle (IWA) coronagraphs (e.g., vortex) and associated low-order wavefront sensors (LOWFS), as well as recent breakthroughs in high contrast high resolution spectroscopy, open new direct exoplanet exploration avenues that are complementary to planet imagers such as VLT-SPHERE and the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). For instance, the search and detailed characterization of planetary systems on solar-system scales around late-Type stars, mostly beyond SPHERE and GPI's reaches, can be initiated now at WMKO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems V
EditorsEnrico Marchetti, Jean-Pierre Veran, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601970
StatePublished - 2016
EventAdaptive Optics Systems V - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems V
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Apodization
  • Exoplanets
  • Extremely Large Telescopes
  • High contrast high resolution spectroscopy
  • High contrast imaging
  • On-Axis segmented telescopes
  • Small inner working angle coronagraphy
  • Vortex coronagraph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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