CARMENES Instrument Overview

Thumbnail Image
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Alonso Floriano, F. J.
González Álvarez, E.
Hidalgo, D.
Holgado, G.
López Santiago, J.
Martínez Rodríguez, H.
Abellán de Paco, F. J.
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This paper gives an overview of the CARMENES instrument and of the survey that will be carried out with it during the first years of operation. CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs) is a next-generation radial-velocity instrument under construction for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory by a consortium of eleven Spanish and German institutions. The scientific goal of the project is conducting a 600-night exoplanet survey targeting ∽ 300 M dwarfs with the completed instrument. The CARMENES instrument consists of two separate echelle spectrographs covering the wavelength range from 0.55 to 1.7 μm at a spectral resolution of R = 82,000, fed by fibers from the Cassegrain focus of the telescope. The spectrographs are housed in vacuum tanks providing the temperature-stabilized environments necessary to enable a 1 m/s radial velocity precision employing a simultaneous calibration with an emission-line lamp or with a Fabry-Perot etalon. For mid-M to late-M spectral types, the wavelength range around 1.0 μm (γ band) is the most important wavelength region for radial velocity work. Therefore, the efficiency of CARMENES has been optimized in this range. The CARMENES instrument consists of two spectrographs, one equipped with a 4k x 4k pixel CCD for the range 0.55 -1.05 μm, and one with two 2k x 2k pixel HgCdTe detectors for the range from 0.95 -1.7 μm. Each spectrograph will be coupled to the 3.5m telescope with two optical fibers, one for the target, and one for calibration light. The front end contains a dichroic beam splitter and an atmospheric dispersion corrector, to feed the light into the fibers leading to the spectrographs. Guiding is performed with a separate camera; on-axis as well as off-axis guiding modes are implemented. Fibers with octagonal cross-section are employed to ensure good stability of the output in the presence of residual guiding errors. The fibers are continually actuated to reduce modal noise. The spectrographs are mounted on benches inside vacuum tanks located in the coude laboratory of the 3.5m dome. Each vacuum tank is equipped with a temperature stabilization system capable of keeping the temperature constant to within ±0.01ºC over 24 hours. The visible-light spectrograph will be operated near room temperature, while the near-IR spectrograph will be cooled to ∽ 140 K. The CARMENES instrument passed its final design review in February 2013. The MAIV phase is currently ongoing. First tests at the telescope are scheduled for early 2015. Completion of the full instrument is planned for the fall of 2015. At least 600 useable nights have been allocated at the Calar Alto 3.5m Telescope for the CARMENES survey in the time frame until 2018. A data base of M stars (dubbed CARMENCITA) has been compiled from which the CARMENES sample can be selected. CARMENCITA contains information on all relevant properties of the potential targets. Dedicated imaging, photometric, and spectroscopic observations are underway to provide crucial data on these stars that are not available in the literature.
© 2014 SPIE. Conference on Ground-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy (5th. 2014. Montreal, Canada). CARMENES is an instrument for the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán de Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería, Spain). CARMENES is funded by the German Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the European Union through FEDER/ERF funds, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (see institutions through of the author list), with additional contributions by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the German Science Foundation (DFG), and by the Junta de Andalucía.
Unesco subjects
1. Alonso Floriano, F.J., Montes, D., Caballero, J.A., Klutsch, A., Morales, J.C., et al. (2013). CARMENES. IV. Preliminary low-resolution spectroscopic characterisation. In Highlights of Spanish astrophysics VII, proceedings of the X scientific meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (SEA). Eds. Guirado, J.C., Lara, L.M., Quilis, V., & Gorgas, J., p. 431 2. Amado, P.J., Lenzen, R., Cardenas, M.C., Sánchez Blanco, E., Becerril, S., et al. (2012). CARMENES: non-cryogenic solutions for YJH-band NIR instruments. In Modern technologies in space- and ground-based telescopes and instrumentation II. Eds. Navarro, R., Cunningham, C.R., & Prieto, E., SPIE 84501U 3. Anglada Escudé, G., Arriagada, P., Vogt, S.S., Rivera, E.J., Butler, R.P., et al. (2012). A planetary system around the nearby M Dwarf GJ 667 c with at least one super-Earth in its habitable zone. ApJ 751, L16 4. Becerril, S., Lizon, J.L., Sánchez Carrasco, M.A., Mirabet, E., Amado, P., et al. (2012). CARMENES. III: an innovative and challenging cooling system for an ultrastable NIR spectrograph. In Modern technologies in space- and ground-based telescopes and instrumentation II. Eds. Navarro, R., Cunningham, C.R., & Prieto, E., SPIE 84504L 5. Caballero, J.A., Cortés Contreras, M., López Santiago, J., Alonso Floriano, F.J., Klutsch, A., et al. (2013). CARMENES. III. CARMENCITA, the input catalogue. In Highlights of Spanish astrophysics VII, proceedings of the X scientific meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (SEA). Eds. Guirado, J.C., Lara, L.M., Quilis, V., & Gorgas, J., p. 645 6. Charbonneau, D., Berta, Z.K., Irwin, J., Burke, C.J., Nutzman, P., et al. (2009). A super-Earth transiting a nearby low-mass star. Nature 462, 891-894 7. García Piquer, A., Guàrdia, J., Colomé, J., Ribas, I., Gesa, L., & Morales, J.C. (2014). CARMENES Instrument Control System and Operational Scheduler. These proceedings, 9152-72 8. Guàrdia, J., Colomé, J., Ribas, I., Hagen, H.J., Morales, R., et al. (2012). CARMENES. IV: instrument control software. In Software and cyberinfrastructure for astronomy II. Eds. Radziwill, N.M., & Chiozzi, G., SPIE 84512S 9. Janson, M., Hormuth, F., Bergfors, C., Brandner, W., Hippler, S., et al. (2012). The AstraLux large M-dwarf multiplicity survey. ApJ 754, 44 10. Janson, M., Bergfors, C., Brandner, W., Kudryavtseva, N., Hormuth, F., et al. (2014). The AstraLux multiplicity survey: extension to late M-dwarfs. ApJ 789, 102 11. Jódar, E., Pérez Garrido, A., Díaz Sánchez, A., Villó, I., Rebolo, R., & Pérez Prieto, J.A., (2013). New companions to nearby low-mass stars. MNRAS 429, 859-867 12. Klutsch, A., Alonso Floriano, F.J., Caballero, J.A., Montes, D., Cortés Contreras, M., et al. (2012). Spectral characterisation of the CARMENES input catalogue. In SF2A 2012: Proceedings of the annual meeting of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Eds. Boissier, S., de Laverny, P., Nardetto, N., Samadi, R., Valls-Gabaud, D., & Wozniak, H., p. 357-360 13. Mayor, M., Bonfils, X., Forveille, T., Delfosse, X., Udry, S., et al. (2009). The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XVIII. An Earth-mass planet in the GJ 581 planetary system. A&A 507, 487-494 14. Mirabet, E., Carvas, P., Lizon, J.L., Becerril, S., Amado., P.J., et al. (2014). CARMENES in SPIE 2014: Very promising results about an ultrahigh stability cooling system for the CARMENES instrument. These Proceedings, 9151-150 15. Quirrenbach, A., Amado, P.J., Mandel, H., Caballero, J.A., Mundt, R., et al. (2010). CARMENES: Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exo-earths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs. In Ground-based and airborne instrumentation for astronomy III. Eds. McLean, I.S., Ramsay, S.K., & Takami, H., SPIE 773513 16. Quirrenbach, A., Amado, P.J., Seifert, W., Sánchez Carrasco, M.A., Mandel, H., et al. (2012). CARMENES. I: instrument and survey overview. In Ground-based and airborne instrumentation for astronomy IV. Eds. McLean, I.S., Ramsay, S.K., & Takami, H., SPIE 84460R 17. Rauer, H., Catalá, C., Aerts, C., Appourchaux, T., Benz, W., et al. (2014). The PLATO 2.0 Mission. ExA, in press 18. Reiners, A., Bean, J.L., Huber, K.F., Dreizler, S., Seifahrt, A., & Czesla, S. (2010). Detecting planets around very low mass stars with the radial velocity method. ApJ 710, 432-443 19. Ricker, G.R., Winn, J.N., Vanderspek, R., Latham, D.W., Bakos, G.A., et al. (2014). The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. These Proceedings, 9143-508 20. Sarmiento, L.F., Reiners, A., Seemann, U., Lemke, U., Winkler, J., et al. (2014). Characterizing U-Ne hollow cathode lamps at near-IR wavelengths for the CARMENES survey. These proceedings, 9147-194 21. Seifert, W., Sánchez Carrasco, M., Xu, W., Cárdenas, C., Sánchez Blanco, E., et al. (2012). CARMENES. II: optical and opto-mechanical design. In Ground-based and airborne instrumentation for astronomy IV. Eds. McLean, I.S., Ramsay, S.K., & Takami, H., SPIE 844633 22. Stürmer, J., Stahl, O., Schwab, C., Seifert, W., Quirrenbach, A., et al. (2014). CARMENES in SPIE 2014. Building a fiber link for CARMENES. These proceedings, 9151-191