A comprehensive radial velocity error budget for next generation Doppler spectrometers

Samuel Halverson*, Ryan Terrien, Suvrath Mahadevan, Arpita Roy, Chad Bender, Gudmundur K. Stefánsson, Andrew Monson, Eric Levi, Fred Hearty, Cullen Blake, Michael McElwain, Christian Schwab, Lawrence Ramsey, Jason Wright, Sharon Wang, Qian Gong, Paul Roberston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a detailed radial velocity error budget for the NASA-NSF Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrometer instrument concept NEID (NN-explore Exoplanet Investigations with Doppler spectroscopy). Such an instrument performance budget is a necessity for both identifying the variety of noise sources currently limiting Doppler measurements, and estimating the achievable performance of next generation exoplanet hunting Doppler spectrometers. For these instruments, no single source of instrumental error is expected to set the overall measurement floor. Rather, the overall instrumental measurement precision is set by the contribution of many individual error sources. We use a combination of numerical simulations, educated estimates based on published materials, extrapolations of physical models, results from laboratory measurements of spectroscopic subsystems, and informed upper limits for a variety of error sources to identify likely sources of systematic error and construct our global instrument performance error budget. While natively focused on the performance of the NEID instrument, this modular performance budget is immediately adaptable to a number of current and future instruments. Such an approach is an important step in charting a path towards improving Doppler measurement precisions to the levels necessary for discovering Earth-like planets.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Luc Simard, Hideki Takami
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601963
ISBN (Print)9781510601956
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Exoplanets
  • High resolution spectroscopy
  • Radial velocity instrumentation
  • Systems engineering

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