Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer: concept and phased implementation

D. Mawet*, P. Wizinowich, R. Dekany, M. Chun, D. Hall, S. Cetre, O. Guyon, J. K. Wallace, B. Bowler, M. Liu, G. Ruane, E. Serabyn, R. Bartos, J. Wang, G. Vasisht, M. Fitzgerald, A. Skemer, M. Ireland, J. Fucik, J. FortneyI. Crossfield, R. Hu, B. Benneke

*Corresponding author for this work

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

59 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) is a cost-effective upgrade path to the W.M. Keck observatory (WMKO) adaptive optics (AO) system, building on the lessons learned from first and second-generation extreme AO (ExAO) coronagraphs. KPIC will explore new scientific niches in exoplanet science, while maturing critical technologies and systems for future ground-based (TMT, EELT, GMT) and space-based planet imagers (HabEx, LUVOIR). The advent of fast low-noise IR cameras (IR-APD, MKIDS, electron injectors), the rapid maturing of efficient wavefront sensing (WFS) techniques (Pyramid, Zernike), small inner working angle (IWA) coronagraphs (e.g., vortex) and associated low-order wavefront sensors (LOWFS), as well as recent breakthroughs in high contrast high resolution spectroscopy, open new direct exoplanet exploration avenues that are complementary to planet imagers such as VLT-SPHERE and the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). For instance, the search and detailed characterization of planetary systems on solar-system scales around late-Type stars, mostly beyond SPHERE and GPI's reaches, can be initiated now at WMKO.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems V
EditorsEnrico Marchetti, Laird M. Close, Jean-Pierre Véran
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601970
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventAdaptive Optics Systems V - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 20161 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems V
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Apodization
  • Exoplanets
  • Extremely Large Telescopes
  • High contrast high resolution spectroscopy
  • High contrast imaging
  • On-Axis segmented telescopes
  • Small inner working angle coronagraphy
  • Vortex coronagraph


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