High-Precision Spectrographs for Exoplanet Research: CORAVEL, ELODIE, CORALIE, SOPHIE and HARPS

  • Francesco PepeEmail author
  • François Bouchy
  • Michel Mayor
  • Stéphane Udry
Reference work entry


In this chapter, we will present the concepts, designs, and performances of several generations of simultaneous-reference spectrographs that have made the history of exoplanet discoveries by means of the Doppler technique. It is not possible to understand the strengths of this category of spectrographs without understanding first the revolutionary approach of CORAVEL that set the path for the next generation of instruments using CCDs, i.e., ELODIE and CORALIE. These instruments were extremely successful (e.g., with the discovery of 51 Peg b), it however quickly became clear that higher precision would be necessary in order not to remain stuck with Jupiter- and Saturn-mass planets only. The ELODIE/CORALIE concept was optimized in order to reach best possible performances. This process led to the development of HARPS that has become, through the tens of discoveries of Super-Earths and Neptunes, the new reference for high-precision Doppler velocity measurements. The success of HARPS had to be transposed to the northern hemisphere, an ambition that resulted first in the manufacturing of SOPHIE and later of HARPS-N. This work was finally the baseline for the development of ESPRESSO aiming at the next level of precision. We refer, however, to the chapter dedicated to ESPRESSO in this same handbook for a detailed description.



This work has been carried out within the frame of the National Centre for Competence in Research PlanetS supported by the SNSF. The authors acknowledge the financial support of the SNSF. The authors would like to thank in the most sincere way all the persons who have contributed through their passionate and competent, but often unapparent, work of administration, management, engineering, technology, programming, etc., to the great scientific success of the described instruments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Pepe
    • 1
    Email author
  • François Bouchy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michel Mayor
    • 4
  • Stéphane Udry
    • 4
  1. 1.Département d’AstronomieObservatoire de l’Université de GenéveVersoixSwitzerland
  2. 2.Département d’AstronomieUniversité de GenéveVersoixSwitzerland
  3. 3.Observatoire astronomique de l’Université de GenéveVersoixSwitzerland
  4. 4.Département d’AstronomieUniversité de GenéveVersoixSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Norio Narita
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Science, Department of AstronomyUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Exoplanet Detection Project OfficeNational Astronomical Observatory of JapanTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Exoplanet Detection Project OfficeAstrobiology CenterTokyoJapan

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