In 2000 I became a member of the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO), based at UC Santa Cruz. One of our major accomplishments is a successful bid to build what we now call the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI; formerly known as Extreme Adaptive Optics Coronagraph, or ExAOC). Bruce Macintosh at Stanford is the Principal Investigator.
GPI is a new science instrument that exploits the latest generation of adaptive optics technology, coronagraphy and detectors. It has been successfully commissioned at the Gemini South telescope in Chile and we have started a three year science program called GPIES (GPI Exoplanet Survey).
GPI is capable of directly imaging the light produced from warm extrasolar planets. I am a member of the GPI science team and co-lead the debris disk team with Mike Fitzgerald at UCLA. James Graham is the project scientist. The team at UC Berkeley also includes Gaspard Duchene, Rob De Rosa, Jason Wang, Maissa Salama, Tushar Mittal, Bekki Dawson, Eugene Chiang, and Steve Beckwith.
To learn more, please go to the GPI web site.