18 September 2014 Statistical bounds and maximum likelihood performance for shot noise limited knife-edge modeled stellar occultation
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Applications of stellar occultation by solar system objects have a long history for determining universal time, detecting binary stars, and providing estimates of sizes of asteroids and minor planets. More recently, extension of this last application has been proposed as a technique to provide information (if not complete shadow images) of geosynchronous satellites. Diffraction has long been recognized as a source of distortion for such occultation measurements, and models subsequently developed to compensate for this degradation. Typically these models employ a knife-edge assumption for the obscuring body. In this preliminary study, we report on the fundamental limitations of knife-edge position estimates due to shot noise in an otherwise idealized measurement. In particular, we address the statistical bounds, both Cramér- Rao and Hammersley-Chapman-Robbins, on the uncertainty in the knife-edge position measurement, as well as the performance of the maximum-likelihood estimator. Results are presented as a function of both stellar magnitude and sensor passband; the limiting case of infinite resolving power is also explored.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Patrick J. McNicholl, Patrick J. McNicholl, Peter N. Crabtree, Peter N. Crabtree, "Statistical bounds and maximum likelihood performance for shot noise limited knife-edge modeled stellar occultation", Proc. SPIE 9227, Unconventional Imaging and Wavefront Sensing 2014, 922707 (18 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2059317; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2059317


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