Workshop: Exploring Exoplanets with Interferometry

November 28 - December 2, 2022
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125


Workshop Overview:

Given that interferometry is becoming the technique of choice for directly detecting and characterizing the bulk of exoplanets from the ground in the near future (before ELTs) and given the prospects of upcoming and future instruments (VLTI/GRAVITY+ , VLTI/Hi-5, Keck/VFN, LIFE mission), a workshop bringing the community together to determine the best path forward is warranted.

The workshop will focus on new concepts for interferometric observations for exoplanet research including: how new micro-thruster technologies and innovative, new low cost spacecraft might enable separated spacecraft concepts such as the new Large Interferometer for Exoplanets (LIFE) mission now under study by ESA; how novel materials may allow the use of integrated optics for interferometric recombination in the MIR; how low-noise, high QE MIR detector technologies can be further advanced; how near-term high dynamic range interferometric efforts on ground-based telescopes can demonstrate new technologies relevant to space-based missions; how interferometric astrometry on separated spacecraft might take advantage of new technological approaches to achieve the <0.1 micro-arcsec precision needed to detect and characterize the masses and orbits of Earth analogs otherwise not detectable via the RV technique.

In this context, the aim of our workshop is to address the following questions:

  • What are the immediate next steps required to enable space-based interferometry, including a possible smallsat formation flying pathfinder?
  • How can ground-based interferometry help test and develop some of the key technologies and new ideas paving the way to a future space mission like LIFE? How do we support such developments?
  • How do we overcome the limitations currently preventing us from detecting exoplanets within the diffraction limit of individual telescopes using interferometry?
  • How do we best incorporate and further develop state-of-the-art technologies (e.g., photonics-based beam combination, precision formation flying, advanced data processing techniques and low noise ultra-stable MIR detectors) to maximize the success of a future space-based mission like LIFE?
  • Could a space interferometry mission optimized for the direct characterization of exo-Earths also provide precise enough stellar astrometry to determine planet masses?

We will also use the workshop setting to begin coordinating follow-up research activities, including numerical and optical studies, grant writing, and dissemination of results.

Schedule Coming Soon...

List of Workshop Participants Coming Soon...

Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Wilson Avenue. Turn right into the North Wilson Structure and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosk located inside the North Wilson Structure or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in an unmarked spot in the North Wilson Structure located on Wilson Avenue.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena