How do we find earth-like exoplanets? Precise radial velocity (RV)
work, responsible for the lion's share of exoplanet discovery
pre-Kepler, remains a cornerstone of exoplanetary research, and an
indispensable tool in the search for rocky planets. It is an essential
technique for the validation and characterization of transiting
planets such as those that will be discovered by TESS. However, we
need to improve upon the current state of the art to push the
instrument precision into a regime where we can discover the small
Doppler signature of terrestrial planets around the quietest stars.
In this talk, I will present two large, next generation spectrographs designed and built at Penn State University. The Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) near-infrared spectrograph was installed on the 10m Hobby-Eberly Telescope in late 2017. With a demonstrated precision of 1.5m/s in the infrared, HPF will probe new regimes, including terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of the coolest, closest stars to the Sun. The second spectrograph, NEID, is an ultra-stable, optical spectrometer designed to achieve RV precision on the order of 10cm/s. NEID will be commissioned as facility instrument in late 2019 on the 3.5m WIYN Telescope, serving the exoplanet community as a vital follow up asset for Earth-like planets targeted by TESS and JWST surveys.