Exoplanet imaging speckle subtraction: current limitations and a path forward

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dc.contributor.author Gerard, Benjamin Lionel
dc.date.accessioned 2020-05-20T21:00:15Z
dc.date.available 2020-05-20T21:00:15Z
dc.date.copyright 2020 en_US
dc.date.issued 2020-05-20
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/11755
dc.description.abstract The direct detection and detailed characterization of exoplanets using extreme adaptive optics (ExAO) is a key science case of both current and future telescopes. However, both quasi-static and residual atmospheric wavefront errors currently limit the sensitivity of this endeavour, generating “speckles” in a coronagraphic image that initially obscure any faint exoplanet(s) from detection. I first demonstrate the current limits of exoplanet imaging using datasets taken with the Gemini Planet Imager and Subaru Coronagraphic ExAO systems. Even when using advanced post-processing algorithms, speckle evolution over time and wavelength is shown to limit the final contrasts that can be reached with current state- of-the-art instruments. A new approach is thus needed to detect fainter exoplanets below these limits. I then illustrate a path forward to reach contrasts near the fundamental photon noise limit: fast focal plane wavefront sensing of both quasi-static and atmospheric speckles. My new method, called the Fast Atmospheric Self-coherent camera Technique (FAST), deploys new hardware and software to overcome these limitations. Looking toward the future, the contrast improvements from fast focal plane wave- front sensing techniques such as FAST are expected to play an essential role in the ground-based detection and characterization of lower mass exoplanets. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Exoplanet Imaging en_US
dc.subject Adaptive Optics en_US
dc.subject Image Processing en_US
dc.subject Astrophysics en_US
dc.title Exoplanet imaging speckle subtraction: current limitations and a path forward en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Marois, Christian
dc.contributor.supervisor Willis, Jon
dc.degree.department Department of Physics and Astronomy en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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