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20 May 2019 Toward precision radial velocity measurements using Echelle spectrograph at Vainu Bappu Telescope
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The Echelle spectrograph operating at Vainu Bappu Telescope is a general purpose instrument designed for high-resolution spectroscopy. It is being considered for precision Doppler measurements without altering the existing design and basic usage. However, the design level limitations and environmental perturbations are a major source of instability and systematic errors. As a result, a small Doppler signal in the stellar spectra is completely swamped by the large and uncontrolled instrumental drift. We discuss some of the remedial measures we took to improve the radial velocity performance of the spectrograph. We show that an autoguider assembly has greatly reduced the mechanical jitter of the star image at the fiber input, making the illumination of the spectrograph slit at the other end stable. We have also installed an iodine absorption cell to track and eliminate the instrumental drifts to facilitate precision radial velocity observations. Furthermore, we have developed a generic algorithm that uses iodine exposures to extract the stellar radial velocities without the need for the complex forward modeling. Our algorithm is not accurate to the level of traditional iodine technique. However, it is convenient to use on a low-cost general-purpose spectrograph targeting a moderate radial velocity (RV) precision at a few 10 to 100  ms  −  1 level. Finally, we have demonstrated the usefulness of our approach by measuring the RV signal of a well-known short-period, planet-hosting star.
© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4124/2019/$25.00 © 2019 SPIE
Sireesha Chamarthi, Ravinder K. Banyal, and Sriram Sripadmanabhan "Toward precision radial velocity measurements using Echelle spectrograph at Vainu Bappu Telescope," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 5(2), 028004 (20 May 2019).
Received: 3 January 2019; Accepted: 26 April 2019; Published: 20 May 2019

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