New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI)

Principal Investigator - Patricia C. Hynes, Director of the New Mexico NASA EPSCoR Program and Director of New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.
Co-Investigator, Gautam Vasisht, Jet Propulsuion Laboratory, NASA
Co-Investigator, Mark Swain, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Co-Investigator, Michelle Creech-Eakman, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Tech
Co-Investigator, Penelope Boston, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Co-Investigator, Pin Chen, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Co-Investigator, David Westpfahl, Department of Physics, New Mexico Tech
Co-Investigator, Pieter Deroo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Co-Investigator, Colby Jurgenson, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Introduction: To build a moderate resolution, highly-calibratible near-infrared exoplanet spectrometer, NESSI (New Mexico Tech Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument), to study the atmospheric molecular signatures of transiting exoplanets; NESSI will be deployed as a facility instrument on the high-altitude Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) 2.4 meter telescope. The need for NESSI relies on the fact that most astronomical infrared spectrometers are not sufficiently stable and repeatable (in terms of calibration, pointing, non-/correlated errors, etc.) to make repeated measurements at the 0.01% relative level from ground-based platforms. Our colleagues at JPL have recently developed a technique which can be used to mitigate nearly all of Earth's atmospheric contributions, allowing a purpose-designed, dedicated survey instrument to overcome these failures.
Proposal - pdf

Progress Report 2009-2010

Progress Report 2010-2011

Final Report