MARVEL, a four-telescope array for high-precision radial-velocity monitoring

G. Raskin*, C. Schwab, B. Vandenbussche, J. de Ridder, C. Lanthermann, J. Pérez Padilla, A. Tkachenko, H. Sana, P. Royer, S. Prins, L. Decin, D. Defrère, J. Pember, D. Atkinson, A. Glasse, D. Pollacco, G. Tinetti, M. Güdel, J. Stürmer, I. RibasA. Brandeker, L. Buchhave, S. Halverson, G. Avila, J. Morren, H. van Winckel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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    Since the first discovery of a planet outside of our Solar System in 1995, exoplanet research has shifted from detecting to characterizing worlds around other stars. The TESS (NASA, launched 2019) and PLATO mission (ESA, planned launch 2026) will find and constrain the size of thousands of exoplanets around bright stars all over the sky. Radial velocity measurements are needed to characterize the orbit and mass, and complete the picture of densities and composition of the exoplanet systems found. The Ariel mission (ESA, planned launch 2028) will characterize exoplanet atmospheres with infrared spectroscopy. Characterization of stellar activity using optical spectroscopy from the ground is key to retrieve the spectral footprint of the planetary atmosphere in Ariel's spectra. To enable the scientific harvest of the TESS, PLATO and Ariel space missions, we plan to install MARVEL as an extension of the existing Mercator Telescope at the Roque De Los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma (SPAIN). MARVEL consists of an array of four 80 cm telescopes linked through optical fibers to a single high-resolution echelle spectrograph, optimized for extreme-precision radial velocity measurements. It can observe the radial velocities of four different stars simultaneously or, alternatively, combine the flux from four telescopes pointing to a single faint target in one spectrum. MARVEL is constructed by a KU Leuven (Belgium) led collaboration, with contributions from the UK, Austria, Australia, Sweden, Denmark and Spain. In this paper, we present the MARVEL instrument with special focus on the optical design and expected performance of the spectrograph, and report on the status of the project.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE : Ground-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
    EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
    Number of pages12
    PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
    Publication date2020
    Article number114473K
    ISBN (Electronic)9781510636811
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventSPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020 - Online event
    Duration: 14 Dec 202018 Dec 2020


    ConferenceSPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020
    LocationOnline event
    SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


    • Optical fiber
    • Radial velocity
    • Spectrograph
    • Telescopes


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