Precision Radial Velocity Spectrograph

H.R.A. Jones, John Rayner, Larry Ramsey, David Henry, Bill Dent, David Montgomery, Andy Vick, Derek Ives, Ian Egan, David Lunney, Phil Rees, Adrian Webster, Chris Tinney, Mike Liu

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present a conceptual design for a Precision Radial Velocity Spectrograph (PRVS) for the Gemini telescope. PRVS is a fibre fed high resolving power (R similar to 70,000 at 2.5 pixel sampling) cryogenic echelle spectrograph operating in the near infrared (0.95 - 1.8 microns) and is designed to provide 1 m/s radial velocity measurements. We identify the various error sources to overcome in order to the required stability. We have constructed models simulating likely candidates and demonstrated the ability to recover exoplanetary RV signals in the infrared. PRVS should achieve a total RV error of around 1 m/s on a typical M6V star. We use these results as an input to a simulated 5-year survey of nearby M stars. Based on a scaling of optical results, such a survey has the sensitivity to detect several terrestrial mass planets in the habitable zone around nearby stars. PRVS will thus test theoretical planet formation models, which predict an abundance of terrestrial-mass planets around low-mass stars.We have conducted limited experiments with a brass-board instrument on the Sun in the infrared to explore real-world issues achieving better than 10 m/s precision in single 10 s exposures and better than 5 m/s when integrated across a minute of observing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
EditorsI.S. McLean, M.M. Casali
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-7224-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventConference on Ground-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II - Marseille
Duration: 23 Jun 200828 Jun 2008

Publication series

NameSPIE Proceedings


ConferenceConference on Ground-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II


  • Infrared
  • High Resolution Spectroscopy
  • Exoplanet
  • Asteroseismology
  • Radial Velocity


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