Presentation Title

Developing a Planetary Doppler Imager

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 355

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

A planetary Doppler imager is an instrument that uses methods widely used for decades in helioseismology to understand the interior of the sun, only repurposed to peer into the interiors of the giant planets of our solar systems. Sufficient data obtained through the use of such an instrument could allow scientists to settle not only important questions regarding the internal composition and activity of the giant planets, but also some of the as-yet unsettled questions pertaining to the formation of early solar systems. However, this newly emerging technology is severely limited due to the difficulty of obtaining enough light from these planets to allow for sufficient data for analysis. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the summer of 2016 I worked on designing, testing, and creating an improved ground-based Doppler imager based on the designs of previously created instruments, with the goal of maximizing the number of photons captured by the imager. Among the many design features tested and implemented were: the use of a second optical path for light with polarization orthogonal to that of the first path’s, installation of a higher quantum-efficiency camera, the use of an unconventional iterative design improvement process fine-tuning both the optical and mechanical designs, and the planning of a new imaging approach to be used when gathering data during observation runs. These improvements were calculated to result in approximately eight-fold increase in the number of photons the instrument can pick up when compared to its predecessors. The completed planetary Doppler imager was tested as a complete unit in its first observational run September 2016 and was found to confirm our estimated efficiency expectations. The instrument’s next observation run, expected to provide the most accurate Doppler imaging of Jupiter to date, is scheduled for March of 2017.

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Nov 12th, 10:30 AM Nov 12th, 10:45 AM

Developing a Planetary Doppler Imager

HUB 355

A planetary Doppler imager is an instrument that uses methods widely used for decades in helioseismology to understand the interior of the sun, only repurposed to peer into the interiors of the giant planets of our solar systems. Sufficient data obtained through the use of such an instrument could allow scientists to settle not only important questions regarding the internal composition and activity of the giant planets, but also some of the as-yet unsettled questions pertaining to the formation of early solar systems. However, this newly emerging technology is severely limited due to the difficulty of obtaining enough light from these planets to allow for sufficient data for analysis. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the summer of 2016 I worked on designing, testing, and creating an improved ground-based Doppler imager based on the designs of previously created instruments, with the goal of maximizing the number of photons captured by the imager. Among the many design features tested and implemented were: the use of a second optical path for light with polarization orthogonal to that of the first path’s, installation of a higher quantum-efficiency camera, the use of an unconventional iterative design improvement process fine-tuning both the optical and mechanical designs, and the planning of a new imaging approach to be used when gathering data during observation runs. These improvements were calculated to result in approximately eight-fold increase in the number of photons the instrument can pick up when compared to its predecessors. The completed planetary Doppler imager was tested as a complete unit in its first observational run September 2016 and was found to confirm our estimated efficiency expectations. The instrument’s next observation run, expected to provide the most accurate Doppler imaging of Jupiter to date, is scheduled for March of 2017.