References of "Gómez González, Carlos"
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See detailSupervised detection of exoplanets in high-contrast imaging sequences
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Van Droogenbroeck, Marc ULiege

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (in press)

Context. Post-processing algorithms play a key role in pushing the detection limits of high-contrast imaging (HCI) instruments. State-of-the-art image processing approaches for HCI enable the production ... [more ▼]

Context. Post-processing algorithms play a key role in pushing the detection limits of high-contrast imaging (HCI) instruments. State-of-the-art image processing approaches for HCI enable the production of science-ready images relying on unsupervised learning techniques, such as low-rank approximations, for generating a model point spread function (PSF) and subtracting the residual starlight and speckle noise. Aims. In order to maximize the detection rate of HCI instruments and survey campaigns, advanced algorithms with higher sensitivities to faint companions are needed, especially for the speckle-dominated innermost region of the images. Methods. We propose a reformulation of the exoplanet detection task (for ADI sequences) that builds on well-established machine learning techniques to take HCI post-processing from an unsupervised to a supervised learning context. In this new framework, we present algorithmic solutions using two different discriminative models: SODIRF (random forests) and SODINN (neural networks). We test these algorithms on real ADI datasets from VLT/NACO and VLT/SPHERE HCI instruments. We then assess their performances by injecting fake companions and using receiver operating characteristic analysis. This is done in comparison with state-of-the-art ADI algorithms, such as ADI principal component analysis (ADI-PCA). Results. This study shows the improved sensitivity versus specificity trade-off of the proposed supervised detection approach. At the diffraction limit, SODINN improves the true positive rate by a factor ranging from ∼2 to ∼10 (depending on the dataset and angular separation) with respect to ADI-PCA when working at the same false-positive level. Conclusions. The proposed supervised detection framework outperforms state-of-the-art techniques in the task of discriminating planet signal from speckles. In addition, it offers the possibility of re-processing existing HCI databases to maximize their scientific return and potentially improve the demographics of directly imaged exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a point-like source and a third spiral arm in the transition disk around the Herbig Ae star MWC 758
Reggiani, Maddalena ULiege; Christiaens, V.; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 1710

Transition disks offer the extraordinary opportunity to look for newly born planets and investigate the early stages of planet formation. In this context we observed the Herbig A5 star MWC 758 with the L ... [more ▼]

Transition disks offer the extraordinary opportunity to look for newly born planets and investigate the early stages of planet formation. In this context we observed the Herbig A5 star MWC 758 with the L band vector vortex coronagraph installed in the near-infrared camera and spectrograph NIRC2 at the Keck II telescope, with the aim of unveiling the nature of the spiral structure by constraining the presence of planetary companions in the system. Our high-contrast imaging observations show a bright (delta L=7.0+/-0.3 mag) point-like emission, south of MWC 758 at a deprojected separation of about 20 au (r=0.111+/- 0. 004 arcsec) from the central star. We also recover the two spiral arms (south-east and north-west), already imaged by previous studies in polarized light, and discover a third one to the south-west of the star. No additional companions were detected in the system down to 5 Jupiter masses beyond 0.6 arcsec from the star. We propose that the bright L band emission could be caused by the presence of an embedded and accreting protoplanet, although the possibility of it being an asymmetric disk feature cannot be excluded. The spiral structure is probably not related to the protoplanet candidate, unless on an inclined and eccentric orbit, and it could be due to one (or more) yet undetected planetary companions at the edge of or outside the spiral pattern. Future observations and additional simulations will be needed to shed light on the true nature of the point-like source and its link with the spiral arms. [less ▲]

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See detailAdvanced data processing for high-contrast imaging - Pushing exoplanet direct detection limits with machine learning
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Since ancient times, mankind has wondered whether other solar systems exist around other stars somewhere in the Universe. It took many centuries to finally prove the existence of extra-solar planetary ... [more ▼]

Since ancient times, mankind has wondered whether other solar systems exist around other stars somewhere in the Universe. It took many centuries to finally prove the existence of extra-solar planetary systems. Nowadays, more than 3500 exoplanets have been discovered, mostly thanks to indirect detection methods. Indeed, the task of directly detecting exoplanets through high-contrast imaging (HCI) is a formidable challenge, and has only been enabled in the last decade thanks to advances in instrumentation and dedicated image processing algorithms. This last component of the exoplanet direct imaging pipeline is what ultimately pushes the detection limits and sensitivity of HCI instruments and survey campaigns. Unfortunately, the HCI community has been slow in adopting the latest developments in data management and machine learning for analyzing the increasing amount of available data. This dissertation is an attempt to fill in this very gap, and develops at the interface of computer science, machine learning, statistics, and astrophysics. This work contributes to the field of data processing for HCI in two main ways. On one hand, I have developed an open source \texttt{Python} library for taking HCI data from the raw state up to the characterization of companions. It implements state-of-the-art approaches and is positioning itself as one of the de facto software solutions for building HCI pipelines. I have also participated to the critical analysis of data from different first and second generation HCI instruments. On the other hand, I have approached the task of exoplanet detection in angular differential imaging sequences from a computer vision and machine learning perspective. This interdisciplinary work has led to novel algorithmic solutions, extending unsupervised learning techniques widely used in HCI and proposing advanced supervised learning approaches based on cutting-edge deep learning models. My novel algorithms have been presented using a robust performance assessment framework to produce large comparative performance studies. These studies show the improved sensitivity vs specificity trade-off of the proposed supervised detection approach. The proposed algorithms bring the possibility of re-processing existing HCI databases to maximize their scientific return and potentially improve the demographics of directly imaged exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailDeep imaging search for planets forming in the TW Hya protoplanetary disk with the Keck/NIRC2 vortex coronagraph
Ruane, G.; Mawet, D.; Kastner, J. et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 154

Distinct gap features in the nearest protoplanetary disk, TW Hya (distance of 59.5$\pm$0.9 pc), may be signposts of ongoing planet formation. We performed long-exposure thermal infrared coronagraphic ... [more ▼]

Distinct gap features in the nearest protoplanetary disk, TW Hya (distance of 59.5$\pm$0.9 pc), may be signposts of ongoing planet formation. We performed long-exposure thermal infrared coronagraphic imaging observations to search for accreting planets especially within dust gaps previously detected in scattered light and submm-wave thermal emission. Three nights of observations with the Keck/NIRC2 vortex coronagraph in $L^\prime$ (3.4-4.1$\mu$m) did not reveal any statistically significant point sources. We thereby set strict upper limits on the masses of non-accreting planets. In the four most prominent disk gaps at 24, 41, 47, and 88 au, we obtain upper mass limits of 1.6-2.3, 1.1-1.6, 1.1-1.5, and 1.0-1.2 Jupiter masses ($M_J$) assuming an age range of 7-10 Myr for TW Hya. These limits correspond to the contrast at 95\% completeness (true positive fraction of 0.95) with a 1\% chance of a false positive within $1^{\prime\prime}$ of the star. We also approximate an upper limit on the product of planet mass and planetary accretion rate of $M_p\dot{M}\lesssim10^{-8} M_J^2/yr$ implying that any putative $\sim0.1 M_J$ planet, which could be responsible for opening the 24 au gap, is presently accreting at rates insufficient to build up a Jupiter mass within TW Hya's pre-main sequence lifetime. [less ▲]

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See detailVIP: Vortex Image Processing package for high-contrast direct imaging
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege; Wertz, Olivier; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 154

We present the Vortex Image Processing (VIP) library, a python package dedicated to astronomical high-contrast imaging. Our package relies on the extensive python stack of scientific libraries and aims to ... [more ▼]

We present the Vortex Image Processing (VIP) library, a python package dedicated to astronomical high-contrast imaging. Our package relies on the extensive python stack of scientific libraries and aims to provide a flexible framework for high-contrast data and image processing. In this paper, we describe the capabilities of VIP related to processing image sequences acquired using the angular di↵erential imaging (ADI) observing technique. VIP implements functionalities for building high-contrast data processing pipelines, encompass- ing pre- and post-processing algorithms, potential sources position and flux estimation, and sensitivity curves generation. Among the reference point-spread function subtraction techniques for ADI post-processing, VIP includes several flavors of principal component analysis (PCA) based algorithms, such as annular PCA and incremental PCA algorithm capable of processing big datacubes (of several gigabytes) on a computer with limited memory. Also, we present a novel ADI algorithm based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), which comes from the same family of low-rank matrix approximations as PCA and provides fairly similar results. We showcase the ADI capabilities of the VIP library using a deep sequence on HR8799 taken with the LBTI/LMIRCam and its recently commissioned L-band vortex coronagraph. Using VIP we investigated the presence of additional companions around HR8799 and did not find any significant additional point source beyond the four known planets. VIP is available at http://github.com/vortex-exoplanet/VIP and is accompanied with Jupyter notebook tutorials illustrating the main functionalities of the library. [less ▲]

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See detailVLT/SPHERE robust astrometry of the HR8799 planets at milliarcsecond-level accuracy. Orbital architecture analysis with PyAstrOFit
Wertz, Olivier; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Gómez González, Carlos ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 598

HR8799 is orbited by at least four giant planets, making it a prime target for the recently commissioned Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (VLT/SPHERE). As such, it was observed on ... [more ▼]

HR8799 is orbited by at least four giant planets, making it a prime target for the recently commissioned Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (VLT/SPHERE). As such, it was observed on five consecutive nights during the SPHERE science verification in December 2014. We aim to take full advantage of the SPHERE capabilities to derive accurate astrometric measurements based on H-band images acquired with the Infra-Red Dual-band Imaging and Spectroscopy (IRDIS) subsystem, and to explore the ultimate astrometric performance of SPHERE in this observing mode. We also aim to present a detailed analysis of the orbital parameters for the four planets. We report the astrometric positions for epoch 2014.93 with an accuracy down to 2.0 mas, mainly limited by the astrometric calibration of IRDIS. For each planet, we derive the posterior probability density functions for the six Keplerian elements and identify sets of highly probable orbits. For planet d, there is clear evidence for nonzero eccentricity ($e \simeq 0.35$), without completely excluding solutions with smaller eccentricities. The three other planets are consistent with circular orbits, although their probability distributions spread beyond $e = 0.2$, and show a peak at $e \simeq 0.1$ for planet e. The four planets have consistent inclinations of about $30\deg$ with respect to the sky plane, but the confidence intervals for the longitude of ascending node are disjoint for planets b and c, and we find tentative evidence for non-coplanarity between planets b and c at the $2 \sigma$ level. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the low-mass companion HD 142527 B
Christiaens, Valentin ULiege; Casassus, Simon; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

Poster (2017, February)

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See detailFirst scattered-light images of the gas-rich debris disk around 49 Ceti
Choquet, É.; Milli, J.; Wahhaj, Z. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2017), 834(2), 12

We present the first scattered-light images of the debris disk around 49 ceti, a ~40 Myr A1 main sequence star at 59 pc, famous for hosting two massive dust belts as well as large quantities of atomic and ... [more ▼]

We present the first scattered-light images of the debris disk around 49 ceti, a ~40 Myr A1 main sequence star at 59 pc, famous for hosting two massive dust belts as well as large quantities of atomic and molecular gas. The outer disk is revealed in reprocessed archival Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS F110W images, as well as new coronagraphic H band images from the Very Large Telescope SPHERE instrument. The disk extends from 1.1" (65 AU) to 4.6" (250 AU), and is seen at an inclination of 73degr, which refines previous measurements at lower angular resolution. We also report no companion detection larger than 3 M_Jup at projected separations beyond 20 AU from the star (0.34"). Comparison between the F110W and H-band images is consistent with a grey color of 49 ceti's dust, indicating grains larger than >2microns. Our photometric measurements indicate a scattering efficiency / infrared excess ratio of 0.2-0.4, relatively low compared to other characterized debris disks. We find that 49 ceti presents morphological and scattering properties very similar to the gas-rich HD 131835 system. From our constraint on the disk inclination we find that the atomic gas previously detected in absorption must extend to the inner disk, and that the latter must be depleted of CO gas. Building on previous studies, we propose a schematic view of the system describing the dust and gas structure around 49 ceti and hypothetic scenarios for the gas nature and origin. [less ▲]

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See detailThe W. M. Keck Observatory infrared vortex coronagraph and a first image of HIP79124 B
Serabyn, Eugene; Huby, Elsa ULiege; Matthews, Keith et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 153(1), 43

An optical vortex coronagraph has been implemented within the NIRC2 camera on the Keck II telescope and used to carry out on-sky tests and observations. The development of this new L'-band observational ... [more ▼]

An optical vortex coronagraph has been implemented within the NIRC2 camera on the Keck II telescope and used to carry out on-sky tests and observations. The development of this new L'-band observational mode is described, and an initial demonstration of the new capability is presented: a resolved image of the low-mass companion to HIP79124, which had previously been detected by means of interferometry. With HIP79124 B at a projected separation of 186.5 mas, both the small inner working angle of the vortex coronagraph and the related imaging improvements were crucial in imaging this close companion directly. Due to higher Strehl ratios and more relaxed contrasts in L' band versus H band, this new coronagraphic capability will enable high-contrast small-angle observations of nearby young exoplanets and disks on a par with those of shorter-wavelength extreme adaptive optics coronagraphs. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the inner disk around HD 141569 A from Keck/NIRC2 L-band vortex coronagraphy
Mawet, Dimitri; Choquet, Élodie; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 153(1), 44

HD 141569 A is a pre-main sequence B9.5 Ve star surrounded by a prominent and complex circumstellar disk, likely still in a transition stage from protoplanetary to debris disk phase. Here, we present a ... [more ▼]

HD 141569 A is a pre-main sequence B9.5 Ve star surrounded by a prominent and complex circumstellar disk, likely still in a transition stage from protoplanetary to debris disk phase. Here, we present a new image of the third inner disk component of HD 141569 A made in the L' band (3.8 micron) during the commissioning of the vector vortex coronagraph recently installed in the near-infrared imager and spectrograph NIRC2 behind the W.M. Keck Observatory Keck II adaptive optics system. We used reference point spread function subtraction, which reveals the innermost disk component from the inner working distance of $\simeq 23$ AU and up to $\simeq 70$ AU. The spatial scale of our detection roughly corresponds to the optical and near-infrared scattered light, thermal Q, N and 8.6 micron PAH emission reported earlier. We also see an outward progression in dust location from the L'-band to the H-band (VLT/SPHERE image) to the visible (HST/STIS image), likely indicative of dust blowout. The warm disk component is nested deep inside the two outer belts imaged by HST NICMOS in 1999 (respectively at 406 and 245 AU). We fit our new L'-band image and spectral energy distribution of HD 141569 A with the radiative transfer code MCFOST. Our best-fit models favor pure olivine grains, and are consistent with the composition of the outer belts. While our image shows a putative very-faint point-like clump or source embedded in the inner disk, we did not detect any true companion within the gap between the inner disk and the first outer ring, at a sensitivity of a few Jupiter masses. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a low-mass companion inside the debris ring surrounding the F5V star HD 206893
Milli, J.; Hibon, P.; Christiaens, Valentin ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 597

<BR /> Aims: Uncovering the ingredients and the architecture of planetary systems is a very active field of research that has fuelled many new theories on giant planet formation, migration, composition ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: Uncovering the ingredients and the architecture of planetary systems is a very active field of research that has fuelled many new theories on giant planet formation, migration, composition, and interaction with the circumstellar environment. We aim at discovering and studying new such systems, to further expand our knowledge of how low-mass companions form and evolve. <BR /> Methods: We obtained high-contrast H-band images of the circumstellar environment of the F5V star HD 206893, known to host a debris disc never detected in scattered light. These observations are part of the SPHERE High Angular Resolution Debris Disc Survey (SHARDDS) using the InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) installed on VLT/SPHERE. <BR /> Results: We report the detection of a source with a contrast of 3.6 × 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] in the H-band, orbiting at a projected separation of 270 milliarcsec or 10 au, corresponding to a mass in the range 24 to 73 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] for an age of the system in the range 0.2 to 2 Gyr. The detection was confirmed ten months later with VLT/NaCo, ruling out a background object with no proper motion. A faint extended emission compatible with the disc scattered light signal is also observed. <BR /> Conclusions: The detection of a low-mass companion inside a massive debris disc makes this system an analog of other young planetary systems such as β Pictoris, HR 8799 or HD 95086 and requires now further characterisation of both components to understand their interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe SHARDDS survey: First resolved image of the HD 114082 debris disk in the Lower Centaurus Crux with SPHERE
Wahhaj, Zahed; Milli, Julien; Kennedy, Grant et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 596

We present the first resolved image of the debris disk around the 16 ± 8 Myr old star, HD 114082. The observation was made in the H-band using the SPHERE instrument. The star is at a distance of 92 ± 6 pc ... [more ▼]

We present the first resolved image of the debris disk around the 16 ± 8 Myr old star, HD 114082. The observation was made in the H-band using the SPHERE instrument. The star is at a distance of 92 ± 6 pc in the Lower Centaurus Crux association. Using a Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis, we determined that the debris is likely in the form of a dust ring with an inner edge of 27.7[SUP]+2.8[/SUP][SUB]-3.5[/SUB] au, position angle -74.3°[SUP]+0.5[/SUP][SUB]-1.5[/SUB], and an inclination with respect to the line of sight of 6.7°[SUP]+3.8[/SUP][SUB]-0.4[/SUB]. The disk imaged in scattered light has a surface density that is declining with radius of r[SUP]-4[/SUP], which is steeper than expected for grain blowout by radiation pressure. We find only marginal evidence (2σ) of eccentricity and rule out planets more massive than 1.0 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] orbiting within 1 au of the inner edge of the ring, since such a planet would have disrupted the disk. The disk has roughly the same fractional disk luminosity (L[SUB]disk[/SUB]/L[SUB]∗[/SUB] = 3.3 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP]) as HR 4796 A and β Pictoris, however it was not detected by previous instrument facilities most likely because of its small angular size (radius 0.4''), low albedo ( 0.2), and low scattering efficiency far from the star due to high scattering anisotropy. With the arrival of extreme adaptive optics systems, such as SPHERE and GPI, the morphology of smaller, fainter, and more distant debris disks are being revealed, providing clues to planet-disk interactions in young protoplanetary systems. The reduced images are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/596/L4">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/596/L4</A> [less ▲]

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See detailCommissioning and first light results of an L'-band vortex coronagraph with the Keck II adaptive optics NIRC2 science instrument
Femenía Castellá, Bruno; Serabyn, Eugene; Mawet, Dimitri et al

in Marchetti, E.; Close, L.; Véran, J.-P. (Eds.) Adaptive Optics Systems V (2016, July 26)

On March 2015 an L'-band vortex coronagraph based on an Annular Groove Phase Mask made up of a diamond sub-wavelength grating was installed on NIRC2 as a demonstration project. This vortex coronagraph ... [more ▼]

On March 2015 an L'-band vortex coronagraph based on an Annular Groove Phase Mask made up of a diamond sub-wavelength grating was installed on NIRC2 as a demonstration project. This vortex coronagraph operates in the L' band not only in order to take advantage from the favorable star/planet contrast ratio when observing beyond the K band, but also to exploit the fact that the Keck II Adaptive Optics (AO) system delivers nearly extreme adaptive optics image quality (Strehl ratios values near 90%) at 3.7μm. We describe the hardware installation of the vortex phase mask during a routine NIRC2 service mission. The success of the project depends on extensive software development which has allowed the achievement of exquisite real-time pointing control as well as further contrast improvements by using speckle nulling to mitigate the effect of static speckles. First light of the new coronagraphic mode was on June 2015 with already very good initial results. Subsequent commissioning nights were interlaced with science nights by members of the VORTEX team with their respective scientific programs. The new capability and excellent results so far have motivated the VORTEX team and the Keck Science Steering Committee (KSSC) to offer the new mode in shared risk mode for 2016B. [less ▲]

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See detailThree years of harvest with the vector vortex coronagraph in the thermal infrared
Absil, Olivier ULiege; Mawet, D.; Karlsson, M. et al

in Evans, C.; Simard, L.; Takami, H. (Eds.) Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI (2016, June 26)

For several years, we have been developing vortex phase masks based on sub-wavelength gratings, known as Annular Groove Phase Masks. Etched onto diamond substrates, these AGPMs are currently designed to ... [more ▼]

For several years, we have been developing vortex phase masks based on sub-wavelength gratings, known as Annular Groove Phase Masks. Etched onto diamond substrates, these AGPMs are currently designed to be used in the thermal infrared (ranging from 3 to 13 μm). Our AGPMs were first installed on VLT/NACO and VLT/VISIR in 2012, followed by LBT/LMIRCam in 2013 and Keck/NIRC2 in 2015. In this paper, we review the development, commissioning, on-sky performance, and early scientific results of these new coronagraphic modes and report on the lessons learned. We conclude with perspectives for future developments and applications. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the low-mass companion around HD 142527 with VLT/SINFONI
Christiaens, Valentin ULiege; Casassus, Simon; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

Conference (2016, May 19)

The circumstellar disk of the Herbig Fe star HD 142527 is host to several remarkable features in the context of planetary formation, including a warped inner disk, one of the largest annular gaps, a ... [more ▼]

The circumstellar disk of the Herbig Fe star HD 142527 is host to several remarkable features in the context of planetary formation, including a warped inner disk, one of the largest annular gaps, a prominent dust trap and several spiral arms in its outer disk. A low-mass companion, HD 142527 B, was also found orbiting the primary star at only ~10 au, possibly shaping the inclined inner disk (inclined with respect to the outer disk). This study aims to provide a clarifying answer to the question of the true nature of this companion, which could help explaining its true impact on the peculiar geometry of the disk. We observed the source with VLT/SINFONI in H+K band in pupil-tracking mode. Data were then post-processed with several principal component analysis algorithms based on the principle of Angular Differential Imaging. HD 142527 B is re-detected in most of the H+K spectral channels at a signal-to-noise ratio > 3. This re-detection enables us to extract the first medium-resolution spectrum of a low-mass companion at less than 0.1'' from its central star. The best fit to our spectrum was obtained with a BT-SETTL model spectrum corresponding to a temperature of 3400+-50K and a surface gravity log(g)=2.5+-1.0. Using pre-main sequence tracks, this corresponds to an M3 star with a mass, radius and age of M_B ~0.3 M_Sun, R_B ~ 1.1 R_Sun and 3.6 Myr old, respectively. We also suggest that most of the expected circum-secondary material is at a temperature lower than 1000K, hence not emitting in H and K band, but able to explain the excess measured at L- and M-bands. Based on the new values of radius and mass of the companion, we provide a new estimate for the mass accretion rate on HD 142527 B of ~1% of the accretion rate on the primary, consistent with a non-significant detection in the Brackett-gamma line. This result confirms the efficiency of the pupil-tracking mode implemented on VLT/SINFONI for the spectral characterization of faint companions orbiting very close to their star. [less ▲]

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See detailVortex Image Processing (VIP) package for high-contrast direct imaging
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Wertz, Olivier ULiege et al

Poster (2016, May 16)

VIP is a Python instrument-agnostic toolbox featuring a flexible framework for reproducible and robust data reduction. VIP currently supports three high-contrast imaging observational techniques: angular ... [more ▼]

VIP is a Python instrument-agnostic toolbox featuring a flexible framework for reproducible and robust data reduction. VIP currently supports three high-contrast imaging observational techniques: angular, reference-star and multi-spectral differential imaging. The code can be downloaded from our git repository on Github: http://github.com/vortex-exoplanet/VIP [less ▲]

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See detailLow-rank plus sparse decomposition for exoplanet detection in direct-imaging ADI sequences. The LLSG algorithm
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Absil, P.-A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

Context. Data processing constitutes a critical component of high-contrast exoplanet imaging. Its role is almost as important as the choice of a coronagraph or a wavefront control system, and it is ... [more ▼]

Context. Data processing constitutes a critical component of high-contrast exoplanet imaging. Its role is almost as important as the choice of a coronagraph or a wavefront control system, and it is intertwined with the chosen observing strategy. Among the data processing techniques for angular differential imaging (ADI), the most recent is the family of principal component analysis (PCA) based algorithms. It is a widely used statistical tool developed during the first half of the past century. PCA serves, in this case, as a subspace projection technique for constructing a reference point spread function (PSF) that can be subtracted from the science data for boosting the detectability of potential companions present in the data. Unfortunately, when building this reference PSF from the science data itself, PCA comes with certain limitations such as the sensitivity of the lower dimensional orthogonal subspace to non-Gaussian noise. <BR /> Aims: Inspired by recent advances in machine learning algorithms such as robust PCA, we aim to propose a localized subspace projection technique that surpasses current PCA-based post-processing algorithms in terms of the detectability of companions at near real-time speed, a quality that will be useful for future direct imaging surveys. <BR /> Methods: We used randomized low-rank approximation methods recently proposed in the machine learning literature, coupled with entry-wise thresholding to decompose an ADI image sequence locally into low-rank, sparse, and Gaussian noise components (LLSG). This local three-term decomposition separates the starlight and the associated speckle noise from the planetary signal, which mostly remains in the sparse term. We tested the performance of our new algorithm on a long ADI sequence obtained on β Pictoris with VLT/NACO. <BR /> Results: Compared to a standard PCA approach, LLSG decomposition reaches a higher signal-to-noise ratio and has an overall better performance in the receiver operating characteristic space. This three-term decomposition brings a detectability boost compared to the full-frame standard PCA approach, especially in the small inner working angle region where complex speckle noise prevents PCA from discerning true companions from noise. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect exoplanet detection and characterization using the ANDROMEDA method: Performance on VLT/NaCo data
Cantalloube, F.; Mouillet, D.; Mugnier, L. M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 582

Context. The direct detection of exoplanets with high-contrast imaging requires advanced data processing methods to disentangle potential planetary signals from bright quasi-static speckles. Among them ... [more ▼]

Context. The direct detection of exoplanets with high-contrast imaging requires advanced data processing methods to disentangle potential planetary signals from bright quasi-static speckles. Among them, angular differential imaging (ADI) permits potential planetary signals with a known rotation rate to be separated from instrumental speckles that are either statics or slowly variable. The method presented in this paper, called ANDROMEDA for ANgular Differential OptiMal Exoplanet Detection Algorithm is based on a maximum likelihood approach to ADI and is used to estimate the position and the flux of any point source present in the field of view. Aims. In order to optimize and experimentally validate this previously proposed method, we applied ANDROMEDA to real VLT/NaCo data. In addition to its pure detection capability, we investigated the possibility of defining simple and efficient criteria for automatic point source extraction able to support the processing of large surveys. Methods. To assess the performance of the method, we applied ANDROMEDA on VLT/NaCo data of TYC-8979-1683-1 which is surrounded by numerous bright stars and on which we added synthetic planets of known position and flux in the field. In order to accommodate the real data properties, it was necessary to develop additional pre-processing and post-processing steps to the initially proposed algorithm. We then investigated its skill in the challenging case of a well-known target, $\beta$ Pictoris, whose companion is close to the detection limit and we compared our results to those obtained by another method based on principal component analysis (PCA). Results. Application on VLT/NaCo data demonstrates the ability of ANDROMEDA to automatically detect and characterize point sources present in the image field. We end up with a robust method bringing consistent results with a sensitivity similar to the recently published algorithms, with only two parameters to be fine tuned. Moreover, the companion flux estimates are not biased by the algorithm parameters and do not require a posteriori corrections. Conclusions. ANDROMEDA is an attractive alternative to current standard image processing methods that can be readily applied to on-sky data. [less ▲]

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See detailThe VORTEX project: first results and perspectives
Absil, Olivier ULiege; Mawet, Dimitri; Delacroix, Christian ULiege et al

in Marchetti, Enrico; Close, Laird; Véran, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Adaptive Optics Systems IV (2014, July 21)

Vortex coronagraphs are among the most promising solutions to perform high contrast imaging at small angular separations from bright stars. They feature a very small inner working angle (down to the ... [more ▼]

Vortex coronagraphs are among the most promising solutions to perform high contrast imaging at small angular separations from bright stars. They feature a very small inner working angle (down to the diffraction limit of the telescope), a clear 360 degree discovery space, have demonstrated very high contrast capabilities, are easy to implement on high-contrast imaging instruments, and have already been extensively tested on the sky. Since 2005, we have been designing, developing and testing an implementation of the charge-2 vector vortex phase mask based on concentric sub-wavelength gratings, referred to as the Annular Groove Phase Mask (AGPM). Science-grade mid-infrared AGPMs were produced in 2012 for the first time, using plasma etching on synthetic diamond substrates. They have been validated on a coronagraphic test bench, showing broadband peak rejection up to 500:1 in the L band, which translates into a raw contrast of about 6e-5 at 2λ/D. Three of them have now been installed on world-leading diffraction-limited infrared cameras, namely VLT/NACO, VLT/VISIR and LBT/LMIRCam. During the science verification observations with our L-band AGPM on NACO, we observed the beta Pictoris system and obtained unprecedented sensitivity limits to planetary companions down to the diffraction limit (0.1"). More recently, we obtained new images of the HR 8799 system at L band during the AGPM first light on LMIRCam. After reviewing these first results obtained with mid-infrared AGPMs, we will discuss the short- and mid-term goals of the on-going VORTEX project, which aims to improve the performance of our vortex phase masks for future applications on second-generation high-contrast imager and on future extremely large telescopes (ELTs). In particular, we will briefly describe our current efforts to improve the manufacturing of mid-infrared AGPMs, to push their operation to shorter wavelengths, and to provide deeper starlight extinction by creating new designs for higher topological charge vortices. Within the VORTEX project, we also plan to develop new image processing techniques tailored to coronagraphic images, and to study some pre- and post-coronagraphic concepts adapted to the vortex coronagraph in order to reduce scattered starlight in the final images. [less ▲]

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