The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a high-contrast adaptive optics instrument designed to detect and characterize substellar companions and circumstellar debris disks around nearby young stars using infrared integral field spectroscopy and polarimetry. GPI has been in routine operations at Gemini South for the past six years. Because precise astrometry and photometry of exoplanets is critical to GPI's science, we undertook extensive efforts both in-lab and on-sky to refine the astrometric and photometric calibration of the instrument. We describe revisions to the GPI Data Reduction Pipeline (DRP) that account for these revised calibrations, and that fix several issues identified over the previous six years, including some subtle issues affecting astrometric calibrations caused by a drift of the instrument’s clock. These calibrations are critical for the interpretation of observations obtained with GPI, and for a comparison with measurements from other high-contrast imaging instruments.
We present a revision to the astrometric calibration of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), an instrument designed to achieve the high contrast at small angular separations necessary to image substellar and planetary-mass companions around nearby, young stars. We identified several issues with the GPI data reduction pipeline (DRP) that significantly affected the determination of the angle of north in reduced GPI images. As well as introducing a small error in position angle measurements for targets observed at small zenith distances, this error led to a significant error in the previous astrometric calibration that has affected all subsequent astrometric measurements. We present a detailed description of these issues and how they were corrected. We reduced GPI observations of calibration binaries taken periodically since the instrument was commissioned in 2014 using an updated version of the DRP. These measurements were compared to observations obtained with the NIRC2 instrument on Keck II, an instrument with an excellent astrometric calibration, allowing us to derive an updated plate scale and north offset angle for GPI. This revised astrometric calibration should be used to calibrate all measurements obtained with GPI for the purposes of precision astrometry.