CHARIS science: Performance simulations for the Subaru Telescope's third-generation of exoplanet imaging instrumentation

Timothy D. Brandt, Michael W. McElwain, Markus Janson, Gillian R. Knapp, Kyle Mede, Mary A. Limbach, Tyler Groff, Adam S. Burrows, James E. Gunn, Olivier Guyon, Jun Hashimoto, Masahiko Hayashi, Nemanja Jovanovic, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Robert H. Lupton, Frantz Martinache, Satoko Sorahana, David S. Spiegel, Naruhisa TakatoMotohide Tamura, Edwin Lewis Turner, Robert Joseph Vanderbei, John Wisniewski

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

12 Scopus citations


We describe the expected scientific capabilities of CHARIS, a high-contrast integral-field spectrograph (IFS) currently under construction for the Subaru telescope. CHARIS is part of a new generation of instruments, enabled by extreme adaptive optics (AO) systems (including SCExAO at Subaru), that promise greatly improved contrasts at small angular separation thanks to their ability to use spectral information to distinguish planets from quasistatic speckles in the stellar point-spread function (PSF). CHARIS is similar in concept to GPI and SPHERE, on Gemini South and the Very Large Telescope, respectively, but will be unique in its ability to simultaneously cover the entire near-infrared J, H, and K bands with a low-resolution mode. This extraordinarily broad wavelength coverage will enable spectral differential imaging down to angular separations of a few λ/D, corresponding to ∼0".1. SCExAO will also offer contrast approaching 10-5 at similar separations, ∼0".1-0".2. The discovery yield of a CHARIS survey will depend on the exoplanet distribution function at around 10 AU. If the distribution of planets discovered by radial velocity surveys extends unchanged to ∼20 AU, observations of ∼200 mostly young, nearby stars targeted by existing high-contrast instruments might find ∼1-3 planets. Carefully optimizing the target sample could improve this yield by a factor of a few, while an upturn in frequency at a few AU could also increase the number of detections. CHARIS, with a higher spectral resolution mode of R ∼ 75, will also be among the best instruments to characterize planets and brown dwarfs like HR 8799 cde and κ and b.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems IV
EditorsJean-Pierre Veran, Enrico Marchetti, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496164
StatePublished - 2014
EventAdaptive Optics Systems IV - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems IV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Coronagraphy
  • Exoplanets
  • High Contrast Imaging
  • Integral Field Spectrograph


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