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Proceedings Paper

TPF interferometer planet detection algorithms
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Paper Abstract

Data-reduction algorithms for nulling interferometers can be divided into two categories, model-fitting and imaging. We deal mostly with single-Bracewell instruments because of their simplicity, even though they suffer from “nuisance sources” such as stellar leakage and exo-zodiacal light. To simplify data reduction, we work with the Fourier compo-nents of the time series. Exo-zodiacal light dominates at low frequencies. In principle, it should be possible to model the exo-zodiacal light contribution and separate it from planets using data from a single observation. In practice, however, the uncertainty in the exact form of the exo-zodiacal cloud limits our ability to model and remove its contribution. The only unambiguous way to detect planets with a single Bracewell is to observe a system multiple times through its orbit, and look for month-to-month variations in the Fourier components. To calculate the planet parameters, we discuss a cor-relation technique based on Fourier components instead of time series, in conjunction with a linearized least-squares so-lution. Because the fringe pattern on the sky is wavelength dependent, observations over multiple bandpasses signifi-cantly increases the confidence in planet detection. These algorithms may be used with other types of nulling interfer-ometers. We briefly discuss their application to dual Bracewell data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003);
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas M. Elias II, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
M. Charles Noecker, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5170:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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