MAPS: the MMT AO exoPlanet characterization System

PI: Katie Morzinski

MAPS encompasses an adaptive optics (AO) system feeding an imager and high-res spectrograph "ARIES", plus an associated science and education program for characterizing exoplanets.

The project includes a re-design and re-build of the MMT adaptive secondary system (ASM); two new pyramid wavefront sensors (visible and infrared); an upgrade to the infrared camera ARIES for high spectral resolution; a 60-night science program to characterize exoplanet atmospheres; and the ExoTech Academy to train exoplanet instrument builders.

First-light is planned for 2021. Watch this site for more.

The MAPS project is funded by a 4-year NSF MSIP.

The MMT adaptive secondary mirror (ASM) with all 336 new actuators installed, Oct. 2019. Photo by systems engineer Lori Harrison. [Image description: One photo of an optomechanical instrument in a lab. It is the ASM, which is made up of a reference body, a cold plate, and filled with actuators. The reference body, made of Zerodur(R), is the thick glass plate on top. The cold plate, made of aluminum, is the gold-colored thick plate below that. The ends of the actuators with the heat pipes can be seen sticking out below the cold plate -- they are clamped to the cold plate and stick up through the reference body. The silver-colored hexapod support structure is below that. This whole assembly makes up the ASM, and when it is mounted above the primary mirror at the MMT it will be flipped over from its orientation in the lab.]

(c) Katie M. Morzinski 2019-2021
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