June 8, 2023


Splinter Session of AAS in Albuquerque, NM
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June 8, 2023; 9am – 11am, 12:30 – 3:00pm

Chairs: Rhonda Morgan (NASA ExEP) and Dmitry Savransky (Cornell University)

About this Workshop

This will be a hybrid workshop.

Join from the meeting link:

NASA has responded to the recommendations of the astrophysics decadal survey by establishing the Great Observatories Maturation Program (GOMAP) to reduce risk for the Habitable Worlds Observatory and lay the groundwork for future great observatories. A key element of this maturation will be the evaluation of the impact of design options on science outcomes – and specifically, science yield modeling.

To support the advancement of our yield modeling capabilities, and to inform the community of our current capabilities, NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program is planning a hybrid workshop on June 8, 2023, a splinter session of the 242nd AAS meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

The purpose of this workshop is to:

  • Bring together the vibrant communities of mission and instrument designers and yield modelers to share their expertise
  • Introduce fundamental concepts in exoplanet imaging yield modeling
  • Present state of the art yield modeling tools available for use today and provide basic instruction in their use
  • Discuss gaps in yield modeling approaches and potential future efforts to close them

This workshop will be open to all and will provide a valuable foundation for those interested in yield modeling, from students new to the field to experts with decades of experience. In keeping with NASA’s and the community’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA), those with diverse or under-represented backgrounds are especially encouraged to attend. To maintain accessibility of the material to a broad audience, no level of previous knowledge is expected. The workshop will include resources for anyone wishing to learn more about various elements of yield modeling, and will include live working sessions where participants will try out the current generation of modeling codes and learn how these can contribute to their own work.

The organizing committee will solicit short talks from early career researchers in relevant areas and provide ample time for open discussion and working sessions. After finishing the workshop, attendees will be knowledgeable in the technical basis of science yield modeling for exoplanet imaging missions, and will have a grasp of what remains to be done in support of GOMAP.

Stay tuned for more information, and meanwhile, please feel free to indicate interest and sign up to receive future announcements by registering using the button at the top of this page.

The SOC solicits short talks from early career researchers on topics relating to yield modeling, such as research that was contributed to yield tools or performed using yield tools, or that supports any of the fundamental concepts or inputs, such as exozodiacal light modeling and exoplanet demographics. Three talks will be selected to present for ten minutes each and corresponding travel funds will be provided. Please submit abstracts of 500 words or less by April 10 to to Selections will be announced by April 24th, 2023.

Update: The SOC is pleased to announce the selection of talks by early career researchers:

  1. Felix A. Dannert, ETH Zurich, “Yield prediction for space-based nulling interferometry”
  2. Samantha Hasler, MIT, “Reducing Detection Confusion in Directly Imaged Multi-Planet Systems”
  3. Margaret Bruna, Mcgill University, “Orbit Retrieval of Directly Imaged Exoplanets: When and How to Look”


Pre-recorded short talks on the fundamental concepts of yield modeling

Speaker Title Links
Eric Mamajek Star Catalogs Video | PDF
Jessie Christiansen Occurrence rates and planet demographics Video | PDF
Eric Nielsen Planet generation Planet propagation and Orbit geometry Video | PDF
Bertrand Mennesson Zodiacal Light Video | PDF
Bijan Nemati Photometrics Part 1 - Coronagraph Parameters and SNR Video | PDF Parts 1-3
Photometrics Part 2 - SNR Structure Video
Photometrics Part 3 - Random Noise and Time to SNR Video
John Krist Starlight suppression system modeling Video | PDF
Dmitry Savransky Completeness Delta Mag and Integration Time Video | PDF
Shannon Dulz Bonus 1 - Population Demographics Modeling Video | PDF
Bijan Nemati Bonus 2 - Photon Counting with EMCCDs Video | PDF


Session 1

Speaker Description Duration
Rhonda Morgan introduction and importance of yield tools for science requirements and mission requirements
Video | PDF
10 min
Dmitry Savransky detailed overview of EXOSIMS open source mission simulation tool
Video | PDF
30 min
Chris Stark detailed overview of AYO (Altruistic Yield Optimization)
Video | PDF
30 min
Felix A. Dannert, ETH Zurich Yield prediction for space-based nulling interferometry
Video | PDF
10 min
Samantha Hasler, MIT Reducing Detection Confusion in Directly Imaged Multi-Planet Systems
Video | PDF
10 min
Margaret Bruna, Mcgill University Orbit Retrieval of Directly Imaged Exoplanets: When and How to Look
Video | PDF
10 min
SIG2 Current progress in demographics
Video | PDF
5 min
Rhonda Morgan (facilitator) Q&A and discussion of priorities for future model improvement
15 min

Session 2

Description Duration
Interactive tutorial of EXOSIMS using GoogleCollab and at least two sample problems 60 min
Interactive tutorial of ExoVista 40 min
Open hack time for participants to start on their own problems with assistance from tool developers 50 min