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Improving Interferometric Null Depth Measurements using Statistical Distributions: Theory and First Results with the Palomar Fiber Nuller

Hanot, C. and Mennesson, B. and Martín, S. and Liewer, K. and Loya, F. and Mawet, D. and Riaud, P. and Absil, O. and Serabyn, E. (2011) Improving Interferometric Null Depth Measurements using Statistical Distributions: Theory and First Results with the Palomar Fiber Nuller. Astrophysical Journal, 729 (2). Art. No. 110. ISSN 0004-637X. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150520-131039919

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Abstract

A new "self-calibrated" statistical analysis method has been developed for the reduction of nulling interferometry data. The idea is to use the statistical distributions of the fluctuating null depth and beam intensities to retrieve the astrophysical null depth (or equivalently the object's visibility) in the presence of fast atmospheric fluctuations. The approach yields an accuracy much better (about an order of magnitude) than is presently possible with standard data reduction methods, because the astrophysical null depth accuracy is no longer limited by the magnitude of the instrumental phase and intensity errors but by uncertainties on their probability distributions. This approach was tested on the sky with the two-aperture fiber nulling instrument mounted on the Palomar Hale telescope. Using our new data analysis approach alone—and no observations of calibrators—we find that error bars on the astrophysical null depth as low as a few 10^(−4) can be obtained in the near-infrared, which means that null depths lower than 10^(−3) can be reliably measured. This statistical analysis is not specific to our instrument and may be applicable to other interferometers.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/729/2/110 DOIArticle
http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/729/2/110/PublisherArticle
http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.4719arXivDiscussion paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Mawet, D.0000-0002-8895-4735
Absil, O.0000-0002-4006-6237
Additional Information:© 2011 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 July 6; accepted 2011 January 9; published 2011 February 15. This work was carried out at the Jet propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The data presented in this paper are based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a continuing collaboration between Caltech, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University. We wish to thank the Palomar Observatory staff for their assistance in mounting the PFN and conducting the observations at the Hale telescope. The research was supported by the Fond National de la Recherche scientifique de Belgique (FNRS), by the Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l’Industrie et dans l’Agriculture de Belgique (FRIA), and by the Communauté Francaise de Belgique-Action de recherche concertée-Académie Wallonie-Europe and by the Center for Exoplanet Science. The authors thank the referee for a careful review and for giving us relevant comments that helped to significantly improve the paper.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA/JPL/CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Fond National de la Recherche scientifique de Belgique (FNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans l’Industrie et l’Agriculture (FRIA)UNSPECIFIED
Communauté Francaise de Belgique-Action de recherche concertée-Académie Wallonie-EuropeUNSPECIFIED
Center for Exoplanet ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: high angular resolution – instrumentation: interferometers – methods: data analysis – methods: statistical
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150520-131039919
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150520-131039919
Official Citation:Improving Interferometric Null Depth Measurements using Statistical Distributions: Theory and First Results with the Palomar Fiber Nuller C. Hanot et al. 2011 ApJ 729 110
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57714
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 May 2015 21:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:28

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