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9 September 2019 Sequential generalized likelihood ratio test for planet detection with photon-counting mode
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Abstract
Exoplanet detection by direct imaging is difficult because the target planets are tens of milliarcseconds away from their host star and many orders of magnitude dimmer, up to 1e10 for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. An important approach to obtaining that high contrast in a space telescope is via a starshade to suppress the light from the parent star, making the direct imaging possible. Even after suppressing the starlight, the exoplanet signals are still weak. A photon-counting (PC) Electron Multiplying Charged Coupled Device(EMCCD) reduces the noise level and enables the detection of exoplanets. We present here a signal detection and estimation technique working directly with PC images. The method is based on the generalized maximum likelihood ratio test (GLRT) and uses a binomial distribution between PC images. The method can be applied online, so we can stop taking images as soon as we have enough confidence for the lack of or existence of planets. Thus, the observation time is efficiently used.
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Mengya (Mia) Hu, He Sun, and N. Jeremy Kasdin "Sequential generalized likelihood ratio test for planet detection with photon-counting mode", Proc. SPIE 11117, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets IX, 111171K (9 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2528838
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