Miniature exoplanet radial velocity array I: design, commissioning, and early photometric results

Swift, Jonathan J. and Bottom, Michael and Johnson, John A. and Wright, Jason T. and McCrady, Nate and Wittenmyer, Robert A. and Plavchan, Peter and Riddle, Reed and Muirhead, Philip S. and Herzig, Erich and Myles, Justin and Blake, Cullen H. and Eastman, Jason and Beatty, Thomas G. and Barnes, Stuart I. and Gibson, Steven R. and Lin, Brian and Zhao, Ming and Gardner, Paul and Falco, Emilio and Criswell, Stephen and Nava, Chantanelle and Robinson, Connor and Sliski, David H. and Hedrick, Richard and Ivarsen, Kevin and Hjelstrom, Annie and de Vera, Jon and Szentgyorgyi, Andrew (2015) Miniature exoplanet radial velocity array I: design, commissioning, and early photometric results. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 1 (2). ISSN 2329-4124

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The Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a U.S.-based observational facility dedicated to the discovery and characterization of exoplanets around a nearby sample of bright stars. MINERVA employs a robotic array of four 0.7-m telescopes outfitted for both high-resolution spectroscopy and photometry, and is designed for completely autonomous operation. The primary science program is a dedicated radial velocity survey and the secondary science objective is to obtain high-precision transit light curves. The modular design of the facility and the flexibility of our hardware allows for both science programs to be pursued simultaneously, while the robotic control software provides a robust and efficient means to carry out nightly observations. We describe the design of MINERVA, including major hardware components, software, and science goals. The telescopes and photometry cameras are characterized at our test facility on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, and their on-sky performance is validated. The design and simulated performance of the spectrograph is briefly discussed as we await its completion. New observations from our test facility demonstrate sub-mmag photometric precision of one of our radial velocity survey targets, and we present new transit observations and fits of WASP-52b - a known hot-Jupiter with an inflated radius and misaligned orbit. The process of relocating the MINERVA hardware to its final destination at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona has begun, and science operations are expected to commence in 2015.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to Published version allowed due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 07:12
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 00:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: individual (WASP-52); observational; photometric; planetary systems; radial velocity; telescopes; individual (WASP-52); observational; photometric; planetary system; radial velocity; small tools and hardware; extraterrestrial physics and stellar phenomena; robotics; chemistry; optical variables; measurements;
Fields of Research (2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020102 Astronomical and Space Instrumentation
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5199 Other physical sciences > 519999 Other physical sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
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