NOAO < 2020DECADAL < Topics

Planet Formation Imager

John Monnier has, I believe, submitted a white paper on this topis but will not be able to come to the meeting and has asked me to present a short presentation on this topic. The abstract from the white paper is

An international group of scientists has begun planning for the Planet Formation Imager (PFI,, a next-generation infrared interferometer array with the pri- mary goal of imaging the active phases of planet formation in nearby star forming regions and to take planetary system “snapshots” of young systems to understand exoplanet architectures. PFI will be sensitive to warm dust emission using mid-infrared capabilities made possible by precise fringe tracking in the near-infrared. An L/M band beam combiner will be especially sensitive to thermal emission from young exoplanets (and their disks) with a high spectral resolution mode to probe the kinematics of CO and H2O gas. In this brief White Paper, we summarize the main science goals of PFI, define a baseline PFI architecture that can achieve those goals, and identify remaining technical challenges. We suggest activities that NOAO might support through further developments over the next decade at the flagship US facilities (NPOI, CHARA, MROI) that will help make the Planet Formation Imager facility a reality.

Proposed by Theo ten Brummelaar (CHARA Georgia State University)