The UKIRT planet finder

Hugh R.A. Jones, John Barnes, Ian Bryson, Andy Adamson, David Henry, David Montgomery, Derek Ives, Ian Egan, David Lunney, Phil Rees, John Rayner, Larry Ramsey, Bill Vacca, Chris Tinney, Mike Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We present a conceptual design for the UKIRT Planet Finder (UPF). It is a fibre-fed high resolving power (R ∼ 70,000 at 2.5 pixel sampling) cryogenic echelle spectrograph operating in the near infrared (0.95–1.8 μm) and is designed to provide 1 m/s radial velocity measurements. We identify the various error sources to overcome in order to achieve the required stability. We have constructed models simulating likely candidates and demonstrated the ability to recover exoplanetary radial-velocity (RV) signals in the infrared. UPF 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, which has the sensitivity to detect of the order of 30 terrestrial mass planets in the habitable zone around those stars. UPF will thus test theoretical planet formation models, which predict an abundance of terrestrial-mass planets around low-mass stars enabling critical tests of planet-formation theories and allowing the identification of nearby planets with conditions potentially suitable for life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAstrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1570-6591
ISSN (Electronic)1570-6605

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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