Pre-planetary disks with the Antartic Plateau Interferometer
          Rafael Millan-Gabet, Caltech/MSC
          Mark Swain, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble
          and the API collaboration

          The Antartic Plateau Interferometer (API) is a project to build a powerful optical array at Dome C in Antartica, the best accessible site on Earth. Among its science goals, the detection of exo-planets and characterization of their atmospheres figure prominently.  In a first stage (phase 1), the project proposes to build a scalable, three telescop interferometer based on 2m class telescopes. This instrument is currently envisioned as having baselines from 100 to perhaps 800 meters and operating over a wide portion of the infrared spectrum (J through M bands). As such, the API phase 1 instrument will excell for conducting detailed studies of the pre-planetary environments of young stars, at sub-AU spatial scales, and with unprecedented sensitivity, spectral coverage and dynamic range.  We describe the main instrument characteristics and proposed operating modes, and present the key questions that the API phase 1 instrument can answer in this area.