734 research outputs found

    Phase Errors in Diffraction-Limited Imaging: Contrast Limits for Sparse Aperture Masking

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    Bispectrum phase, closure phase and their generalisation to kernel-phase are all independent of pupil-plane phase errors to first-order. This property, when used with Sparse Aperture Masking (SAM) behind adaptive optics, has been used recently in high-contrast observations at or inside the formal diffraction limit of large telescopes. Finding the limitations to these techniques requires an understanding of spatial and temporal third-order phase effects, as well as effects such as time-variable dispersion when coupled with the non-zero bandwidths in real observations. In this paper, formulae describing many of these errors are developed, so that a comparison can be made to fundamental noise processes of photon- and background-noise. I show that the current generation of aperture-masking observations of young solar-type stars, taken carefully in excellent observing conditions, are consistent with being limited by temporal phase noise and photon noise. This has relevance for plans to combine pupil-remapping with spatial filtering. Finally, I describe calibration strategies for kernel-phase, including the optimised calibrator weighting as used for LkCa 15, and the restricted kernel-phase POISE technique that avoids explicit dependence on calibrators.Comment: 11 pages, 5 figures, resubmitted to MNRAS after responding to referee's comment

    Effects of moderate abundance changes on the atmospheric structure and colours of Mira variables (Research Note)

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    Aims. We study the effects of moderate deviations from solar abundances upon the atmospheric structure and colours of typical Mira variables. Methods. We present two model series of dynamical opacity-sampling models of Mira variables which have (1) 1 solar metallicity 3 and (2) "mild" S-type C/O abundance ratio ([C/O]=0.9) with typical Zr enhancement (solar +1.0). These series are compared to a previously studied solar-abundance series which has similar fundamental parameters (mass, luminosity, period, radius) that are close to those of o Cet. Results. Both series show noticeable effects of abundance upon stratifications and infrared colours but cycle-to-cycle differences mask these effects at most pulsation phases, with the exception of a narrow-water-filter colour near minimum phase.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures, accepted for A&

    Integrated photonic building blocks for next-generation astronomical instrumentation II: the multimode to single mode transition

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    There are numerous advantages to exploiting diffraction-limited instrumentation at astronomical observatories, which include smaller footprints, less mechanical and thermal instabilities and high levels of performance. To realize such instrumentation it is imperative to convert the atmospheric seeing-limited signal that is captured by the telescope into a diffraction-limited signal. This process can be achieved photonically by using a mode reformatting device known as a photonic lantern that performs a multimode to single-mode transition. With the aim of developing an optimized integrated photonic lantern, we undertook a systematic parameter scan of devices fabricated by the femtosecond laser direct-write technique. The devices were designed for operation around 1.55 {\mu}m. The devices showed (coupling and transition) losses of less than 5% for F/# \geq 12 injection and the total device throughput (including substrate absorption) as high as 75-80%. Such devices show great promise for future use in astronomy.Comment: 12 pages, 9 figure

    Multiband processing of multimode light: combining 3D photonic lanterns with waveguide Bragg gratings

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    The first demonstration of narrowband spectral filtering of multimode light on a 3D integrated photonic chip using photonic lanterns and waveguide Bragg gratings is reported. The photonic lanterns with multi-notch waveguide Bragg gratings were fabricated using the femtosecond direct-write technique in boro-aluminosilicate glass (Corning, Eagle 2000). Transmission dips of up to 5 dB were measured in both photonic lanterns and reference single-mode waveguides with 10.4-mm-long gratings. The result demonstrates efficient and symmetrical performance of each of the gratings in the photonic lantern. Such devices will be beneficial to space-division multiplexed communication systems as well as for units for astronomical instrumentation for suppression of the atmospheric telluric emission from OH lines.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, accepted to Laser & Photonics Review

    Simulating a dual beam combiner at SUSI for narrow-angle astrometry

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    The Sydney University Stellar Interferometer (SUSI) has two beam combiners, i.e. the Precision Astronomical Visible Observations (PAVO) and the Microarcsecond University of Sydney Companion Astrometry (MUSCA). The primary beam combiner, PAVO, can be operated independently and is typically used to measure properties of binary stars of less than 50 milliarc- sec (mas) separation and the angular diameters of single stars. On the other hand, MUSCA was recently installed and must be used in tandem with the for- mer. It is dedicated for microarcsecond precision narrow-angle astrometry of close binary stars. The performance evaluation and development of the data reduction pipeline for the new setup was assisted by an in-house computer simulation tool developed for this and related purposes. This paper describes the framework of the simulation tool, simulations carried out to evaluate the performance of each beam combiner and the expected astrometric precision of the dual beam combiner setup, both at SUSI and possible future sites.Comment: 28 pages, 23 figures, accepted for publication in Experimental Astronomy. The final publication is available at http://link.springer.co

    Mapping the Shores of the Brown Dwarf Desert. I. Upper Scorpius

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    We present the results of a survey for stellar and substellar companions to 82 young stars in the nearby OB association Upper Scorpius. This survey used nonredundant aperture mask interferometry to achieve typical contrast limits of ΔK ~5-6 at the diffraction limit, revealing 12 new binary companions that lay below the detection limits of traditional high-resolution imaging; we also summarize a complementary snapshot imaging survey that discovered seven directly resolved companions. The overall frequency of binary companions (~35 +5 -4% at separations of 6-435 AU) appears to be equivalent to field stars of similar mass, but companions could be more common among lower mass stars than for the field. The companion mass function has statistically significant differences compared to several suggested mass functions for the field, and we suggest an alternate lognormal parameterization of the mass function. Our survey limits encompass the entire brown dwarf mass range, but we only detected a single companion that might be a brown dwarf; this deficit resembles the so-called brown dwarf desert that has been observed by radial velocity planet searches. Finally, our survey’s deep detection limits extend into the top of the planetary mass function, reaching 8-12 MJup for half of our sample. We have not identified any planetary companions at high confidence (≳99.5%), but we have identified four candidate companions at lower confidence (≳97.5%) that merit additional follow-up to confirm or disprove their existence
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