CSI papers published: Performance of the Gemini Planet Imager

Performance of the Gemini Planet Imager Non-Redundant Mask and spectroscopy of two close-separation binaries HR 2690 and HD 142527 by A. Greenbaum, CSI member D. Savransky, and colleagues; email: dsavransky@gmail.com

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) contains a 10-hole non-redundant mask (NRM), enabling interferometric resolution in complement to its coronagraphic capabilities. The NRM operates both in spectroscopic (integral field spectrograph, henceforth IFS) and polarimetric configurations. NRM observations were taken between 2013 and 2016 to characterize its performance. Most observations were taken in spectroscopic mode with the goal of obtaining precise astrometry and spectroscopy of faint companions to bright stars. We find a clear correlation between residual wavefront error measured by the AO system and the contrast sensitivity by comparing phase errors in observations of the same source, taken on different dates. We find a typical 5-σ contrast sensitivity of 2−3 × 10−3 at ∼λ/D. We explore the accuracy of spectral extraction of secondary components of binary systems by recovering the signal from a simulated source injected into several datasets. We outline data reduction procedures unique to GPI’s IFS and describe a newly public data pipeline used for the presented analyses. We demonstrate recovery of astrometry and spectroscopy of two known companions to HR 2690 and HD 142527. NRM+polarimetry observations achieve differential visibility precision of σ∼0.4% in the best case. We discuss its limitations on Gemini-S/GPI for resolving inner regions of protoplanetary disks and prospects for future upgrades. We summarize lessons learned in observing with NRM in spectroscopic and polarimetric modes.

Dmitry Savransky, Mechanical & Aerospace Eng.
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