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6 August 2014 Methods for the detection and the characterization of low mass companions using the IFS of SPHERE
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SPHERE is an instrument aimed to the search for low mass companions around young stars in the solar neighborhood. To achieve this goal light from the host star (and in particular the speckle pattern due to the telescope aberrations) should be strongly attenuated while avoiding to cancel out the light from the faint companion. Different techniques can be used to fulfill this aim exploiting the multi-wavelength datacube produced by the Integral Field Spectrograph that is one of the scientific modules that composes SPHERE. In particular we have tested the application of the Spectral Deconvolution and of the Principal Components Analysis techniques. Both of them allow us to obtained a contrast better than 10−5 with respect to the central star at separations of the order of 0.4 arcsec. A further improvement of one order of magnitude can be obtained by combining one of these techniques to the Angular Differential Imaging. To investigate the expected performance of IFS in characterizing detected objects we injected in laboratory data synthetics planets with different intrinsic fluxes and projected separations from the host star. We performed a complete astrometric and photometric analysis of these images to evaluate the expected errors on these measurements, the spectral fidelity and the differences between the reduction methods. The main issue is to avoid the strong self-cancellation that is inherent to all the reduction methods. We have in particular tested two possible solutions: the use of a mask during the reduction on the positions of the companions or, alternatively, using a KLIP procedure for the IFS. This latter seems to give better results in respect o the classical PCA, allowing us to obtain a good spectral reconstruction for simulated objects down to a contrast of ~10-5.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A. Zurlo, D. Mesa, R. Gratton, R. Claudi, S. Desidera, E. Giro, J.-L. Beuzit, K. Dohlen, D. Mouillet, P. Puget, F. Wildi, M. Feldt, O. Moeller-Nilsson, A. Baruffolo, D. Fantinel, B. Salasnich, M. Kasper, A. Costille, J.-F. Sauvage, A. Vigan, C. Moutou, M. Langlois, J. Antichi, A. Pavlov, N. Zimmerman, and M. Turatto "Methods for the detection and the characterization of low mass companions using the IFS of SPHERE", Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 914770 (6 August 2014);

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