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Exoplanet Seminar



Optimization of Mission Scheduling for Exoplanet Direct Imagers
Dr. Dmitry Savransky - Cornell University

ABSTRACT: The direct imaging of exoplanets from space-based observatories represents a unique challenge for mission planners due to the inherent unpredictability of the outcome of these observations, and our current lack of knowledge of the governing distributions for the overall population of exoplanets. Unlike regular observations seeking to characterize a known target, the imaging of exoplanets effectively requires us to decide on how long we observe before giving up. This is true both in cases where we are searching for previously unknown exoplanets, and also when attempting to image an exoplanet previously discovered through indirect methods. Choosing time allocations for exoplanet imaging targets can be guided solely by statistical arguments on the probability of achieving a detection. In this talk, I will discuss these statistical tools, along with how to simulate extrapolated planet populations consistent with our current state of knowledge, and present state of the art methods for computing planet detection probabilities. I will also present applications of optimization tools that we are using to create optimized observing schedules in the presence of dynamic mission constraints for exoplanet imagers including the WFIRST coronagraphic instrument. Finally, I will discuss whether these types of optimizations, which depend on many layers of assumptions, should be used in planning a real mission, and present modeling tools that can help answer this question.

Date November 14, 2017
Start/End Time 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Location Building 34, Room E215
Event Type Seminars/Colloquia
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