Adaptive scheduling algorithms for planet searches

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-precision radial velocity planet searches have surveyed over 2000 nearby stars and detected over 200 planets. While these same stars likely harbor many additional planets, they will become increasingly challenging to detect, as they tend to have relatively small masses and/or relatively long orbital periods. Therefore, observers are increasing the precision of their observations, continuing to monitor stars over decade timescales, and also preparing to survey thousands more stars. Given the considerable amounts of telescope time required for such observing programs, it is important to use the available resources as efficiently as possible. Previous studies have found that a wide range of predetermined scheduling algorithms results in planet searches with similar sensitivities. We have developed adaptive scheduling algorithms which have a solid basis in Bayesian inference and information theory and also are computationally feasible for modern planet searches. We have performed Monte Carlo simulations of plausible planet searches to test the power of adaptive scheduling algorithms. Our simulations demonstrate that planet searches performed with adaptive scheduling algorithms can simultaneously detect more planets, detect less massive planets, and measure orbital parameters more accurately than comparable surveys using a non-adaptive scheduling algorithm. We expect that these techniques will be particularly valuable for the N2K radial velocity planet search for short-period planets as well as future astrometric planet searches with the Space Interferometry Mission, which aim to detect terrestrial-mass planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1020
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume135
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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