The Future in Instruments

Upcoming instruments are a key component in our mission. 

The Keck Planet Finder

The Keck Planet Finder (KPF), debuting in 2023, will be the most advanced spectrometer of its kind in the world. This next-generation optical spectrometer will discover and characterize exoplanets using the radial velocity (RV) or Doppler spectroscopy technique. 

About the Keck Planet Finder

Telescope: Keck II
Wavelength: visible light
Principal Investigator: Andrew Howard, Caltech

Unique Feature: Fiber-fed high-resolution, two-channel cross-dispersed echelle spectrometer with a Zerodur-based design for maximum stability.

Research Specialty: Designed to measure the masses and orbital properties of commonly known small exoplanets, including Earths, super-Earths, and sub-Neptunes. Such studies will help astronomers identify planets around other stars that are capable of supporting life.
Notable Contributions: KPF will play an important role in characterizing transiting planets identified from space missions such as NASA’s Kepler and TESS, as well as the European Space Agency’s PLATO. It will also discover exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars.

Mahalo: Support for this technology was generously provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, National Science Foundation, private donors, Keck Foundation, Simons Foundation, Mt. Cuba Foundation, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, University of Hawaiʻi and W. M. Keck Observatory.