Software Development

Data Reduction Pipelines

I specialize in the development of data reduction and RV analysis pipelines for precision spectroscopy. I have been involved with data analysis for several instruments including KPF, NEID, HPF, PARAS — where the pipelines are a crucial aspect of precision and the confident detection of exoplanets.

Roy et al. 2016, SPIE
Watch my talk at the Sagan Exoplanet Workshop

Stellar Physics

Stellar Activity

Variations in the star caused by magnetic activity can masquerade as planetary signatures. However, stabilized spectrographs allow us to trust line shape variation as a direct manifestation of stellar physics and provide unprecedented insight into the interiors and temporal cycles of stars. I use ensemble line profile variations to study stellar activity and vet planet discoveries.

Robertson, Roy & Mahadevan, 2015, ApJL
Robertson, Mahadevan, Endl & Roy 2015, Science
Wright, Roy et al. 2013, ApJ
National Geographic Article

Theoretical Study

Moon Formation

The Moon exhibits a dramatic dichotomy between hemispheres. While the familiar nearside is flat and buried in volcanic maria, the farside consist of mountainous highlands, extensive cratering, and a much thicker crust. Why? We think the solution involves Earthshine, and "metal snow" on an infant Moon.

Roy, Wright, Sigurdsson 2014, ApJ
Press Release
New York Times Article

Direct Detection

Planetary Reflected Light

The greatest reward from these next-generation spectrographs may well be the direct detection of planetary photons. I am honing the techniques to perform double lined spectroscopic binary analysis for reflected light, by taking existing methods for studying stellar binaries and pushing them to the extreme contrast ratios exhibited by star-planet systems. The ability to reliably detect reflected light in the next few years open up a new field of exoplanet characterization based on the study of atmospheric albedos, paving the way for future flagship space missions like HabEx and LUVOIR.

Combining Techniques

RV + Astrometry

RV measurements can be combined with complementary observations like the astrometric motion of host stars to resolve ambiguities of companion mass. I have used Hipparcos data to constrain the presence of exoplanets, a technique that becomes truly powerful in the age of GAIA.

Kane, Wittenmeyer, Hinkel, Roy et al. 2016, ApJ