Upgrading the Gemini Planet Imager
Upgrades have been proposed for the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which would enhance capabilities of the high-contrast imaging facility. GPI is a dedicated, high contrast imaging instrument used for the direct detection and characterization of young, Jupiter-mass exoplanets. It was developed for the Gemini South telescope in Chile. First light for the GPI was achieved in November 2013, with regular operations beginning in November 2014. Plans are currently being considered for moving GPI from Gemini South to the Gemini North facility in Hawai’i in 2019.
An analysis of GPI’s performance highlighted how its detection capabilities could be improved. The results of this analysis were reported in June, 2018, at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation event in Austin, Texas. A paper outlining the findings, “Upgrading the Gemini planet imager: GPI 2.0,” was published in the Proceedings Volume 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII. The work was supported by the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS). NExSS is a NASA research coordination network supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program. This program element is shared between NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) and the Astrophysics Division.