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Title: The Gemini NICI planet-finding campaign: The companion detection pipeline

We present high-contrast image processing techniques used by the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign to detect faint companions to bright stars. The Near-Infrared Coronographic Imager (NICI) is an adaptive optics instrument installed on the 8 m Gemini South telescope, capable of angular and spectral difference imaging and specifically designed to image exoplanets. The Campaign data pipeline achieves median contrasts of 12.6 mag at 0.''5 and 14.4 mag at 1'' separation, for a sample of 45 stars (V = 4.3-13.9 mag) from the early phase of the campaign. We also present a novel approach to calculating contrast curves for companion detection based on 95% completeness in the recovery of artificial companions injected into the raw data, while accounting for the false-positive rate. We use this technique to select the image processing algorithms that are more successful at recovering faint simulated point sources. We compare our pipeline to the performance of the Locally Optimized Combination of Images (LOCI) algorithm for NICI data and do not find significant improvement with LOCI.
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago (Chile)
  2. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  3. Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  4. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  5. Gemini Observatory, Southern Operations Center, c/o AURA, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile)
  6. Mauna Kea Infrared, LLC, 21 Pookela St., Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348500
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 779; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCOUNTING; ALGORITHMS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DATA ANALYSIS; DETECTION; IMAGE PROCESSING; PLANETS; POINT SOURCES; SIMULATION; STARS