20 October 1993 3-12-μm images of HD44179 and M42: spectral differencing as a mid-infrared astronomical image enhancement technique
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Abstract
NASA Ames Research Center and Lick Observatory have jointly developed two prototype infrared camera for astronomical imaging. The new cameras have been built using Amber Engineering Inc. 128 X 128 SiGa and InSb focal plane arrays. We report observations of the BN-KL source complex in M42 and HD44179 which are used as a demonstration of the cameras' performance when used as narrow band spectral images. The images have a dynamic range in excess of 103. The high signal to noise ratio and linearity of the images are used to demonstrate the power of spectral differencing as a tool for astronomical image enhancement at mid infrared wavelengths. The observations were made over a range of wavelengths 3.1 - 3.3 micrometers and 8.4 - 11.5 microns in and out of the silicate absorption band, and in the PAH emission bands at 3.3 micrometers and 11.3 micrometers using approximately 2% spectral resolution. Bell and Crisp, 1991, have reported spatial resolution enhancement of images for the surface of Mars by division of multispectral images in and out of the H2O absorption feature at 3 micrometers . We find that a similar image processing technique using normalized image differencing can be used in the 10 micrometers silicate absorption feature and PAH emission bands to improve the contrast in mid-infrared astronomical images. This technique is expected to be applicable to imaging of galactic nuclei and other astronomical objects as well as embedded stellar infrared sources.
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David M. Rank, David M. Rank, Pasquale Temi, Pasquale Temi, Jesse D. Bregman, Jesse D. Bregman, } "3-12-μm images of HD44179 and M42: spectral differencing as a mid-infrared astronomical image enhancement technique", Proc. SPIE 1946, Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation, (20 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.158694; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.158694
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