Status update for MAPS, the MMT AO exoPlanet characterization System

Manny Montoya, Katie M. Morzinski, Olivier Durney, Andrew Gardner, Emily Mailhot, Dan Vargas, Amali Vaz, Grant West, Jenny Patience, Buell T. Jannuzi, Narsireddy Anugu, Jared Carlson, Kim Chapman, Shaojie Chen, Chuck Fellows, Lori Harrison, Terry Jones, Craig Kulesa, Masen Lamb, Siqi LiuDon McCarthy, Suresh Sivanandam, Jacob Taylor

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

1 Scopus citations


The MMT Adaptive optics exoPlanet characterization System (MAPS) is an exoplanet characterization program that encompasses instrument development, observational science, and education. The instrument we are developing for the 6.5m MMT observatory is multi-faceted, including a refurbished 336-actuator adaptive secondary mirror (ASM); two pyramid wavefront sensors (PyWFS's); a 1-kHz adaptive optics (AO) control loop; a high-resolution and long-wavelength upgrade to the Arizona infraRed Imager and Echelle Spectrograph (ARIES); and a new-AO-optimized upgrade to the MMT-sensitive polarimeter (MMT-Pol). With the completed MAPS instrument, we will execute a 60-night science program to characterize the atmospheric composition and dynamics of ~50-100 planets around other stars. The project is approaching first light, anticipated for Summer/Fall of 2022. With the electrical and optical tests complete and passing the review milestone for the ASM's development, it is currently being tuned. The PyWFS's are being built and integrated in their respective labs: the visible-light PyWFS at the University of Arizona (UA), and the infrared PyWFS at the University of Toronto (UT). The top-level AO control software is being developed at UA, with an on-sky calibration algorithm being developed at UT. ARIES development continues at UA, and MMT-Pol development is at the University of Minnesota. The science and education programs are in planning and preparation. We will present the design and development of the entire MAPS instrument and project, including an overview of lab results and next steps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VIII
EditorsLaura Schreiber, Dirk Schmidt, Elise Vernet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653511
StatePublished - 2022
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VIII 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

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


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems VIII 2022


  • Adaptive optics
  • Adaptive secondary mirror
  • Exoplanets
  • High-resolution spectroscopy
  • Infrared wavefront sensing
  • Pyramid wavefront sensor

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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