Design Considerations for a Ground-Based Search for Transiting Planets around L and T Dwarfs. (arXiv:1908.03593v1 [astro-ph.EP])

Design Considerations for a Ground-Based Search for Transiting Planets around L and T Dwarfs. (arXiv:1908.03593v1 [astro-ph.EP])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Tamburo_P/0/1/0/all/0/1">Patrick Tamburo</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Muirhead_P/0/1/0/all/0/1">Philip S. Muirhead</a>

We present design considerations for a ground-based survey for transiting
exoplanets around L and T dwarfs, spectral classes that have yet to be
thoroughly probed for planets. We simulate photometry for L and T targets with
a variety of red-optical and near-infrared detectors, and compare the scatter
in the photometry to anticipated transit depths. Based on these results, we
recommend the use of a low-dark-current detector with H-band NIR photometric
capabilities. We then investigate the potential for performing a survey for
Earth-sized planets for a variety of telescope sizes. We simulate planetary
systems around a set of spectroscopically confirmed L and T dwarfs using
measured M dwarf planet occurrence rates from $textit{Kepler}$, and simulate
their observation in surveys ranging in duration from 120 to 600 nights,
randomly discarding 30% of nights to simulate weather losses. We find that an
efficient survey design uses a 2-meter-class telescope with a NIR instrument
and 360-480 observing nights, observing multiple L and T targets each night
with a dithering strategy. Surveys conducted in such a manner have over an 80%
chance of detecting at least one planet, and detect around 2 planets, on
average. The number of expected detections depends on the true planet
occurrence rate, however, which may in fact be higher for L and T dwarfs than
for M dwarfs.

We present design considerations for a ground-based survey for transiting
exoplanets around L and T dwarfs, spectral classes that have yet to be
thoroughly probed for planets. We simulate photometry for L and T targets with
a variety of red-optical and near-infrared detectors, and compare the scatter
in the photometry to anticipated transit depths. Based on these results, we
recommend the use of a low-dark-current detector with H-band NIR photometric
capabilities. We then investigate the potential for performing a survey for
Earth-sized planets for a variety of telescope sizes. We simulate planetary
systems around a set of spectroscopically confirmed L and T dwarfs using
measured M dwarf planet occurrence rates from $textit{Kepler}$, and simulate
their observation in surveys ranging in duration from 120 to 600 nights,
randomly discarding 30% of nights to simulate weather losses. We find that an
efficient survey design uses a 2-meter-class telescope with a NIR instrument
and 360-480 observing nights, observing multiple L and T targets each night
with a dithering strategy. Surveys conducted in such a manner have over an 80%
chance of detecting at least one planet, and detect around 2 planets, on
average. The number of expected detections depends on the true planet
occurrence rate, however, which may in fact be higher for L and T dwarfs than
for M dwarfs.

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