exoplanets and speckles

Fergus did a set of demonstrations today for Oppenheimer, Brenner, and me of his planet-finding code for Oppenheimer's P1640 high dynamic-range imager. The imager blocks out most of the light of the star in an intermediate focal plane, but a combination of atmosphere and optical distortions plus physical optics means that still huge amounts of light hits the focal plane and in a very speckly pattern of blobs. Fergus showed us that he can (potentially) find planets among those speckles, even planets that are percent-level distortions of the speckle pattern! If this holds up it could have huge impact on high dynamic-range imaging, now and in the near future. For the past week or two I have also been playing around with modeling electromagnetic fields in imperfect cameras to see if we can make a more physically motivated model (Fergus's model is data-driven rather than physics-driven).

1 comment:

  1. Physically motivated models are the subject of image science. There is an excellent book on the subject by Barrett and Myers. I have been applying the same physically motivated models (using image science methods) to microgrid array polarimeters. The math using vector valued Maxwell's and the Poynting vector, along with propagation, gets fairly complicated.


    Israel Vaughn