The Exoplanet Climate Infrared TElescope (EXCITE)

Gregory S. Tucker, Peter Nagler, Nathaniel Butler, Brian Kilpatrick, Andrei Korotkov, Nikole Lewis, Pierre F.L. Maxted, Laddawan Miko, C. B. Netterfield, Enzo Pascale, Jennifer Patience, Paul Scowen, Vivien Parmentier, Ingo Waldmann, Yiting Wen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Although there are a large number of known exoplanets, there is little data on their global atmospheric properties. Phase-resolved spectroscopy of transiting planets - continuous spectroscopic observation of planets during their full orbits - probes varied depths and longitudes in the atmospheres thus measuring their three-dimensional thermal and chemical structure and contributing to our understanding of their global circulation. Planets with characteristics suitable for atmospheric characterization have orbits of several days, so phase curve observations are highly resource intensive, especially for shared use facilities. The Exoplanet Climate Infrared TElescope (EXCITE) is a balloon-borne near-infrared spectrometer designed to observe from 1 to 5 μm to perform phaseresolved spectroscopy of hot Jupiters. Flying from a long duration balloon (LDB) platform, EXCITE will have the stability to continuously stare at targets for days at a time and the sensitivity to produce data of the quality and quantity needed to significantly advance our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres. We describe the EXCITE design and show results of analytic and numerical calculations of the instrument sensitivity. We show that an instrument like EXCITE will produce a wealth of quality data, both complementing and serving as a critical bridge between current and future space-based near infrared spectroscopic instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsLuc Simard, Luc Simard, Christopher J. Evans, Hideki Takami
ISBN (Print)9781510619579
StatePublished - 2018
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 14 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • exoplanets
  • phase curves
  • space instrumentation
  • spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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