PRIME
PRime-focus Infrared Microlensing Experiment

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Project


In South Africa, our group will build a wide FOV 1.8m telescope with the world largest class NIR camera to perform world's first NIR microlensing surveys for exoplanets. This is achieved by loaning a state-of-the-art large size NIR detector from Roman team, NASA. This PRIME telescope is designed to perform world's first NIR (JH-band) microlensing surveys for exoplanets in galactic center to dramatically increase detections of exoplanets. Then, we can detect dozens of exoplanets including Earth-mass planet, and free floating planets too. This will provide answers to questions about planet formation including Earth-mass planets and evolutional process.
We also conduct world's first estimate of planet frequency in galactic center region where stars are highly crowded in order to study planet frequency in a different environment. Obtaining these data enable us to achieve our science goals as well as to make significant contributions to NASA by optimizing Roman fields in advance.
Furthermore, as off-bulge season sciences, transit search for M-dwarfs and search of counterparts of high-z GRB and GW will be carried out. In future, we will conduct radial velocity survey for giant planets around M-dwarf with H-band spectrograph.


Schedule


2016 Detail design and manufacture
2017-2020 Manufacture
2020-2021 Construction, install, first light.
2021 Observation start
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2023 Create event rate map in the bulge
~2025 Roman launch,
Concurrent observation start
2030 Continue to the end of the Roman