The Planetary Systems Imager for TMT: Driving Science Cases and Top Level Requirements

the PSI team

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The Planetary Systems Imager (PSI) is a second-generation exoplanet detection and characterization instrument concept for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). PSI will enable extreme adaptive optics imaging and spectroscopy from the visible into the infrared. Its high contrast, coupled with TMT’s sensitivity, will access entirely new regions of exoplanet parameter space. Here we describe the driving exoplanet science cases for PSI, including detecting and characterizing rocky planets around nearby M dwarfs, constraining atmospheric and surface compositions and variability, measuring accretion onto protoplanets on Solar System orbital scales, and more. We present the top level instrument requirements for each subsystem, which we derive from these science cases and inform using simulations. We discuss PSI’s expected science outcomes for exoplanet studies, and also highlight examples of its potential for Solar System, galactic, and extragalactic science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653498
StatePublished - 2022
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX 2022


  • adaptive optics
  • exoplanets
  • Extremely Large Telescopes
  • high-contrast imaging
  • integral field spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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