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Title: Exploring New Worlds: Simulating Coronagraph Data for Exoplanet Detection
Authors: Samuels, Joshua
Advisors: Vanderbei, Robert
Department: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Directly imaging Earth-like planets in other solar systems requires high-contrast photography able to detect signals as faint as 10\(^{−10}\) times the brightness of the parent star. Even with the required contrast, planets will be difficult to distinguish from exozodiacal background light and noise from imperfect optics. I simulate experimental data by propagating light waves from astrophysical sources through a coronagraph according to Fraunhofer diffraction theory while also modeling realistic speckle and background noise. I then use the simulations to evaluate principal component analysis as a technique for data processing and to improve PSF (point spread function) subtraction for planet detection.
Extent: 119 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Operations Research and Financial Engineering, 2000-2020

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