Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics Publications (50)

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics Publications

With the discovery of the first transiting extrasolar planetary system back to 1999, a great number of projects started to hunt for other similar systems. Because of the incidence rate of such systems was unknown and the length of the shallow transit events is only a few percent of the orbital period, the goal was to monitor continuously as many stars as possible for at least a period of a few months. Small aperture, large field of view automated telescope systems have been installed with a parallel development of new data reduction and analysis methods, leading to better than 1% per data point precision for thousands of stars. Read More


We study the nonlinearity (NL) in the conversion from charge to voltage in infrared detectors (HXRG) for use in precision astronomy. We present laboratory measurements of the NL function of a H2RG detector and discuss the accuracy to which it would need to be calibrated in future space missions to perform cosmological measurements through the weak gravitational lensing technique. In addition, we present an analysis of archival data from the infrared H1RG detector of the Wide Field Camera 3 in the Hubble Space Telescope that provides evidence consistent with the existence of a sensor effect analogous to the brighter-fatter effect found in Charge-Coupled Devices. Read More


We present a hierarchical probabilistic model for improving geometric stellar distance estimates using color--magnitude information. This is achieved with a data driven model of the color--magnitude diagram, not relying on stellar models but instead on the relative abundances of stars in color--magnitude cells, which are inferred from very noisy magnitudes and parallaxes. While the resulting noise-deconvolved color--magnitude diagram can be useful for a range of applications, we focus on deriving improved stellar distance estimates relying on both parallax and photometric information. Read More


Computing the inverse covariance matrix (or precision matrix) of large data vectors is crucial in weak lensing (and multi-probe) analyses of the large scale structure of the universe. Analytically computed covariances are noise-free and hence straightforward to invert, however the model approximations might be insufficient for the statistical precision of future cosmological data. Estimating covariances from numerical simulations improves on these approximations, but the sample covariance estimator is inherently noisy, which introduces uncertainties in the error bars on cosmological parameters and also additional scatter in their best fit values. Read More


Polarimetric observations of celestial sources in the hard X-ray band stand to provide new information on emission mechanisms and source geometries. PoGO+ is a Compton scattering polarimeter (20-150 keV) optimised for the observation of the Crab (pulsar and wind nebula) and Cygnus X-1 (black hole binary), from a stratospheric balloon-borne platform launched from the Esrange Space Centre in summer 2016. Prior to flight, the response of the polarimeter has been studied with polarised and unpolarised X-rays allowing a Geant4-based simulation model to be validated. Read More


This work employs a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) to jointly analyse two traditional emission-line classification schemes of galaxy ionization sources: the Baldwin-Phillips-Terlevich (BPT) and W$_{H\alpha}$ vs. [NII]/H$\alpha$ (WHAN) diagrams, using spectroscopic data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 and SEAGal/STARLIGHT datasets. We apply a GMM to empirically define classes of galaxies in a three-dimensional space spanned by the log [OIII]/H\beta, log [NII]/H\alpha, and log EW(H{\alpha}) optical parameters. Read More


X-ray and gamma-ray polarimetry is a promising tool to study the geometry and the magnetic configuration of various celestial objects, such as binary black holes or gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). However, statistically significant polarizations have been detected in few of the brightest objects. Even though future polarimeters using X-ray telescopes are expected to observe weak persistent sources, there are no effective approaches to survey transient and serendipitous sources with a wide field of view (FoV). Read More


Near all-sky imaging photometry was performed from a boat on the Gulf of Aqaba to measure the night sky brightness in a coastal environment. The boat was not anchored, and therefore drifted and rocked. The camera was mounted on a tripod without any inertia/motion stabilization. Read More


High-Performance Adaptive Optics systems are rapidly spreading as useful applications in the fields of astronomy, ophthalmology, and telecommunications. This technology is critical to enable coronagraphic direct imaging of exoplanets utilized in ground-based telescopes and future space missions such as WFIRST, EXO-C, HabEx, and LUVOIR. We have developed a miniaturized Deformable Mirror controller to enable active optics on small space imaging mission. Read More


Cosmic Rays (CR) are high energy particles which come from the universe. When one of those particles enters to the atmosphere of the earth it produces an air shower, conformed by secondary particles in which the initial energy is distributed. The Pierre Auger Observatory, located in Argentina, is dedicated to the study of those events. Read More


This paper considers a new method for the binary asteroid orbit determination problem. The method is based on the Bayesian approach with a global optimisation algorithm. The orbital parameters to be determined are modelled through a posteriori, including a priori and likelihood terms. Read More


The Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a multi-agency partnership to enable, support and perform research and development for next-generation space science and space weather models. CCMC currently hosts nearly 100 numerical models and a cornerstone of this activity is the Runs on Request (RoR) system which allows anyone to request a model run and analyze/visualize the results via a web browser. CCMC is also active in the education community by organizing student research contests, heliophysics summer schools, and space weather forecaster training for students, government and industry representatives. Read More


2017Mar

The search for fast optical transients, such as the expected electromagnetic counterparts to binary neutron star mergers, is riddled with false positives ranging from asteroids to stellar flares. While moving objects are readily rejected via image pairs separated by $\sim$1 hr, stellar flares represent a challenging foreground that significantly outnumber rapidly-evolving explosions. Identifying stellar sources close to and fainter than the transient detection limit can eliminate these false positives. Read More


In this work we investigate the reflectivity of highly reflective multilayer polymer foils used in the CRESST experiment. The CRESST experiment searches directly for dark matter via operating scintillating CaWO$_4$ crystals as targets for elastic dark matter-nucleon scattering. In order to suppress background events, the experiment employs the so-called phonon-light technique which is based on the simultaneous measurement of the heat signal in the main CaWO$_4$ target crystal and of the emitted scintillation light with a separate cryogenic light detector. Read More


In this work we quantify the performance of $LSST$ on the detection of eclipsing binaries. We use $Kepler$ observed binaries to create a large sample of simulated pseudo-$LSST$ binary light curves. From these light curves, we attempt to recover the known binary signal. Read More


We present a new "completed event" microlensing event-finder algorithm and apply it to the 2015 Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) data. The algorithm works by making linear fits to a (t0,teff,u0) grid of point-lens microlensing models. This approach is rendered computationally efficient by restricting u0 to just two values (0 and 1), which we show is quite adequate. Read More


SKA precursors are capable of detecting hundreds of galaxies in HI in a single 12 hours pointing. In deeper surveys one will probe more easily faint HI structures, typically located in the vicinity of galaxies, such as tails, filaments, and extraplanar gas. The importance of interactive visualization has proven to be fundamental for the exploration of such data as it helps users to receive immediate feedback when manipulating the data. Read More


Long wavelength spectral distortions in the Cosmic Microwave Background arising from the 21-cm transition in neutral Hydrogen are a key probe of Cosmic Dawn and the Epoch of Reionization. These features may reveal the nature of the first stars and ultra-faint galaxies that transformed the spin temperature and ionization state of the primordial gas. SARAS 2 is a spectral radiometer purposely designed for precision measurement of these monopole or all-sky global 21-cm spectral distortions. Read More


This Rescaled Subset of the Alternative Data Release 1 to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Physics Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope Sky Survey (TGSS-RSADR1) modifies the initial data release of TGSS-ADR1 (Intema et al. 2017) to bring that catalogue to the same flux scale as the extragalactic catalogue from the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey (GLEAM: Wayth et al. 2015; Hurley-Walker et al. Read More


Sharing scientific data, with the objective of making it fully discoverable, accessible, assessable, intelligible, usable, and interoperable, requires work at the disciplinary level to define in particular how the data should be formatted and described. Each discipline has its own organization and history as a starting point, and this paper explores the way a range of disciplines, namely materials science, crystallography, astronomy, earth sciences, humanities and linguistics get organized at the international level to tackle this question. In each case, the disciplinary culture with respect to data sharing, science drivers, organization and lessons learnt are briefly described, as well as the elements of the specific data infrastructure which are or could be shared with others. Read More


The Large European Array for Pulsars combines Europe's largest radio telescopes to form a tied-array telescope that provides high signal-to-noise observations of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with the objective to increase the sensitivity of detecting low-frequency gravitational waves. As part of this endeavor we have developed a software correlator and beamformer which enables the formation of a tied-array beam from the raw voltages from each of telescopes. We explain the concepts and techniques involved in the process of adding the raw voltages coherently. Read More


The Extreme Energy Events Project is a synchronous sparse array of 52 tracking detectors for studying High Energy Cosmic Rays (HECR) and Cosmic Rays-related phenomena. The observatory is also meant to address Long Distance Correlation (LDC) phenomena: the network is deployed over a broad area covering 10 degrees in latitude and 11 in longitude. An overview of a set of preliminary results is given, extending from the study of local muon flux dependance on solar activity to the investigation of the upward-going component of muon flux traversing the EEE stations; from the search for anisotropies at the sub-TeV scale to the hints for observations of km-scale Extensive Air Shower (EAS). Read More


I present a family of algorithms to reduce noise in astrophysical im- ages and image sequences, preserving more information from the original data than is retained by conventional techniques. The family uses locally adaptive filters ("noise gates") in the Fourier domain, to separate coherent image structure from background noise based on the statistics of local neighborhoods in the image. Processing of solar data limited by simple shot noise or by additive noise reveals image structure not easily visible in the originals, preserves photometry of observable features, and reduces shot noise by a factor of 10 or more with little to no apparent loss of resolution, revealing faint features that were either not directly discernible or not sufficiently strongly detected for quantitative analysis. Read More


2017Mar
Authors: The Pierre Auger Collaboration, A. Aab, P. Abreu, M. Aglietta, E. J. Ahn, I. Al Samarai, I. F. M. Albuquerque, I. Allekotte, P. Allison, A. Almela, J. Alvarez Castillo, J. Alvarez-Muñiz, M. Ambrosio, G. A. Anastasi, L. Anchordoqui, B. Andrada, S. Andringa, C. Aramo, F. Arqueros, N. Arsene, H. Asorey, P. Assis, J. Aublin, G. Avila, A. M. Badescu, A. Balaceanu, C. Baus, J. J. Beatty, K. H. Becker, J. A. Bellido, C. Berat, M. E. Bertaina, X. Bertou, P. L. Biermann, P. Billoir, J. Biteau, S. G. Blaess, A. Blanco, J. Blazek, C. Bleve, M. Boháčová, D. Boncioli, C. Bonifazi, N. Borodai, A. M. Botti, J. Brack, I. Brancus, T. Bretz, A. Bridgeman, F. L. Briechle, P. Buchholz, A. Bueno, S. Buitink, M. Buscemi, K. S. Caballero-Mora, B. Caccianiga, L. Caccianiga, A. Cancio, F. Canfora, L. Caramete, R. Caruso, A. Castellina, G. Cataldi, L. Cazon, R. Cester, A. G. Chavez, A. Chiavassa, J. A. Chinellato, J. Chudoba, R. W. Clay, R. Colalillo, A. Coleman, L. Collica, M. R. Coluccia, R. Conceição, F. Contreras, M. J. Cooper, S. Coutu, C. E. Covault, J. Cronin, R. Dallier, S. D'Amico, B. Daniel, S. Dasso, K. Daumiller, B. R. Dawson, R. M. de Almeida, S. J. de Jong, G. De Mauro, J. R. T. de Mello Neto, I. De Mitri, J. de Oliveira, V. de Souza, J. Debatin, L. del Peral, O. Deligny, C. Di Giulio, A. Di Matteo, M. L. Díaz Castro, F. Diogo, C. Dobrigkeit, J. C. D'Olivo, A. Dorofeev, R. C. dos Anjos, M. T. Dova, A. Dundovic, J. Ebr, R. Engel, M. Erdmann, M. Erfani, C. O. Escobar, J. Espadanal, A. Etchegoyen, H. Falcke, K. Fang, G. Farrar, A. C. Fauth, N. Fazzini, B. Fick, J. M. Figueira, A. Filevich, A. Filipčič, O. Fratu, M. M. Freire, T. Fujii, A. Fuster, B. García, D. Garcia-Pinto, F. Gaté, H. Gemmeke, A. Gherghel-Lascu, P. L. Ghia, U. Giaccari, M. Giammarchi, M. Giller, D. Głas, C. Glaser, H. Glass, G. Golup, M. Gómez Berisso, P. F. Gómez Vitale, N. González, B. Gookin, J. Gordon, A. Gorgi, P. Gorham, P. Gouffon, A. F. Grillo, T. D. Grubb, F. Guarino, G. P. Guedes, M. R. Hampel, P. Hansen, D. Harari, T. A. Harrison, J. L. Harton, Q. Hasankiadeh, A. Haungs, T. Hebbeker, D. Heck, P. Heimann, A. E. Herve, G. C. Hill, C. Hojvat, E. Holt, P. Homola, J. R. Hörandel, P. Horvath, M. Hrabovský, T. Huege, J. Hulsman, A. Insolia, P. G. Isar, I. Jandt, S. Jansen, J. A. Johnsen, M. Josebachuili, A. Kääpä, O. Kambeitz, K. H. Kampert, P. Kasper, I. Katkov, B. Keilhauer, E. Kemp, R. M. Kieckhafer, H. O. Klages, M. Kleifges, J. Kleinfeller, R. Krause, N. Krohm, D. Kuempel, G. Kukec Mezek, N. Kunka, A. Kuotb Awad, D. LaHurd, L. Latronico, M. Lauscher, P. Lautridou, P. Lebrun, R. Legumina, M. A. Leigui de Oliveira, A. Letessier-Selvon, I. Lhenry-Yvon, K. Link, L. Lopes, R. López, A. López Casado, Q. Luce, A. Lucero, M. Malacari, M. Mallamaci, D. Mandat, P. Mantsch, A. G. Mariazzi, I. C. Mariş, G. Marsella, D. Martello, H. Martinez, O. Martínez Bravo, J. J. Masías Meza, H. J. Mathes, S. Mathys, J. Matthews, J. A. J. Matthews, G. Matthiae, E. Mayotte, P. O. Mazur, C. Medina, G. Medina-Tanco, D. Melo, A. Menshikov, S. Messina, M. I. Micheletti, L. Middendorf, I. A. Minaya, L. Miramonti, B. Mitrica, D. Mockler, L. Molina-Bueno, S. Mollerach, F. Montanet, C. Morello, M. Mostafá, G. Müller, M. A. Muller, S. Müller, I. Naranjo, S. Navas, L. Nellen, J. Neuser, P. H. Nguyen, M. Niculescu-Oglinzanu, M. Niechciol, L. Niemietz, T. Niggemann, D. Nitz, D. Nosek, V. Novotny, H. Nožka, L. A. Núñez, L. Ochilo, F. Oikonomou, A. Olinto, D. Pakk Selmi-Dei, M. Palatka, J. Pallotta, P. Papenbreer, G. Parente, A. Parra, T. Paul, M. Pech, F. Pedreira, J. Pękala, R. Pelayo, J. Peña-Rodriguez, L. A. S. Pereira, L. Perrone, C. Peters, S. Petrera, J. Phuntsok, R. Piegaia, T. Pierog, P. Pieroni, M. Pimenta, V. Pirronello, M. Platino, M. Plum, C. Porowski, R. R. Prado, P. Privitera, M. Prouza, E. J. Quel, S. Querchfeld, S. Quinn, R. Ramos-Pollant, J. Rautenberg, O. Ravel, D. Ravignani, D. Reinert, B. Revenu, J. Ridky, M. Risse, P. Ristori, V. Rizi, W. Rodrigues de Carvalho, G. Rodriguez Fernandez, J. Rodriguez Rojo, M. D. Rodríguez-Frías, D. Rogozin, J. Rosado, M. Roth, E. Roulet, A. C. Rovero, S. J. Saffi, A. Saftoiu, H. Salazar, A. Saleh, F. Salesa Greus, G. Salina, J. D. Sanabria Gomez, F. Sánchez, P. Sanchez-Lucas, E. M. Santos, E. Santos, F. Sarazin, B. Sarkar, R. Sarmento, C. Sarmiento-Cano, R. Sato, C. Scarso, M. Schauer, V. Scherini, H. Schieler, D. Schmidt, O. Scholten, P. Schovánek, F. G. Schröder, A. Schulz, J. Schulz, J. Schumacher, S. J. Sciutto, A. Segreto, M. Settimo, A. Shadkam, R. C. Shellard, G. Sigl, G. Silli, O. Sima, A. Śmiałkowski, R. Šmída, G. R. Snow, P. Sommers, S. Sonntag, J. Sorokin, R. Squartini, D. Stanca, S. Stanič, J. Stasielak, F. Strafella, F. Suarez, M. Suarez Durán, T. Sudholz, T. Suomijärvi, A. D. Supanitsky, M. S. Sutherland, J. Swain, Z. Szadkowski, O. A. Taborda, A. Tapia, A. Tepe, V. M. Theodoro, C. Timmermans, C. J. Todero Peixoto, L. Tomankova, B. Tomé, A. Tonachini, G. Torralba Elipe, D. Torres Machado, M. Torri, P. Travnicek, M. Trini, R. Ulrich, M. Unger, M. Urban, A. Valbuena-Delgado, J. F. Valdés Galicia, I. Valiño, L. Valore, G. van Aar, P. van Bodegom, A. M. van den Berg, A. van Vliet, E. Varela, B. Vargas Cárdenas, G. Varner, J. R. Vázquez, R. A. Vázquez, D. Veberič, V. Verzi, J. Vicha, L. Villaseñor, S. Vorobiov, H. Wahlberg, O. Wainberg, D. Walz, A. A. Watson, M. Weber, A. Weindl, L. Wiencke, H. Wilczyński, T. Winchen, D. Wittkowski, B. Wundheiler, S. Wykes, L. Yang, D. Yelos, A. Yushkov, E. Zas, D. Zavrtanik, M. Zavrtanik, A. Zepeda, B. Zimmermann, M. Ziolkowski, Z. Zong, F. Zuccarello

AMIGA (Auger Muons and Infill for the Ground Array) is an upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory designed to extend its energy range of detection and to directly measure the muon content of the cosmic ray primary particle showers. The array will be formed by an infill of surface water-Cherenkov detectors associated with buried scintillation counters employed for muon counting. Each counter is composed of three scintillation modules, with a 10 m$^2$ detection area per module. Read More


Context: in astronomy, observing large fractions of the sky within a reasonable amount of time implies using large field-of-view (fov) optical instruments that typically have a spatially varying Point Spread Function (PSF). Depending on the scientific goals, galaxies images need to be corrected for the PSF whereas no direct measurement of the PSF is available. Aims: given a set of PSFs observed at random locations, we want to estimate the PSFs at galaxies locations for shapes measurements correction. Read More


Residual accelerations due to thermal effects are estimated through a model of the New Horizons spacecraft and a Monte Carlo simulation. We also discuss and estimate the thermal effects on the attitude of the spacecraft. The work is based on a method previously used for the Pioneer and Cassini probes, which solve the Pioneer anomaly problem. Read More


Reduction of images and science analysis from ground-based telescopes such as the LSST requires detailed knowledge of the PSF of the image, which includes components attributable to the instrument as well as components attributable to the atmosphere. Because the atmospheric component is constantly changing, the PSF is typically extracted from each image by measuring the size and shape of star images across the CCD, then building a fitting function over the focal plane which is used to model the PSF for analysis of extended sources such as galaxies. Since the stars in each CCD field have a range of brightnesses, accurate knowledge of the PSF for point sources of varying brightness is essential. Read More


When a flash of light from a star overtakes a straight linear filament of gas or dust and is seen later by an observer, a pattern of perceived illumination occurs that encodes information about the distance to the flash, the distance to illumination fronts on the filament, and the orientation of the filament. To help decode this information, geometric considerations of light echoes from such filaments are considered. A distinction is made between real spots, which occur unambiguously on a filament, and perceived spot echoes, which are seen by observers and may appear differently to separated observers. Read More


Here we present an in-depth study of the behaviour of the Fast Folding Algorithm, an alternative pulsar searching technique to the Fast Fourier Transform. Weaknesses in the Fast Fourier Transform, including a susceptibility to red noise, leave it insensitive to pulsars with long rotational periods (P > 1 s). This sensitivity gap has the potential to bias our understanding of the period distribution of the pulsar population. Read More


We consider the problem related to clustering of gamma-ray bursts (from "BATSE" catalogue) through kernel principal component analysis in which our proposed kernel outperforms results of other competent kernels in terms of clustering accuracy and we obtain three physically interpretable groups of gamma-ray bursts. The effectivity of the suggested kernel in combination with kernel principal component analysis in revealing natural clusters in noisy and nonlinear data while reducing the dimension of the data is also explored in two simulated data sets. Read More


The Latin American Giant Observatory (LAGO) is an extended cosmic ray observatory composed of a network of water-Cherenkov detectors (WCD) spanning over different sites located at significantly different altitudes (from sea level up to more than $5000$\,m a.s.l. Read More


We present a robust, efficient, and user-friendly algorithm for detecting faint emission-line sources in large integral-field spectroscopic datacubes together with the public release of the software package LSDCat (Line Source Detection and Cataloguing). LSDCat uses a 3-dimensional matched filter approach, combined with thresholding in signal-to-noise, to build a catalogue of individual line detections. In a second pass, the detected lines are grouped into distinct objects, and positions, spatial extents, and fluxes of the detected lines are determined. Read More


Nowadays there is no field research which is not flooded with data. Among the sciences, Astrophysics has always been driven by the analysis of massive amounts of data. The development of new and more sophisticated observation facilities, both ground-based and spaceborne, has led data more and more complex (Variety), an exponential growth of both data Volume (i. Read More


We report in this paper a new exponential relation distance of planets in the newly discovered exoplanetary system of the Trappist-1 star, and we comment on near orbital mean motion resonances among the seven planets. We predict that possible smaller planets could be found inside the orbit of the innermost discovered Planet b. Read More


2017Mar
Affiliations: 1Instituto Geofisico del Peru, Area Astronomia, Lima, Peru, 2Grupo Astronomia, Facultas de Ciencias, Univ. Nacional de Ingenieria - UNI, Lima, Peru, 3Grupo Astronomia, Facultas de Ciencias, Univ. Nacional de Ingenieria - UNI, Lima, Peru, 4Grupo Astronomia, Facultas de Ciencias, Univ. Nacional de Ingenieria - UNI, Lima, Peru

This work verifies the instrumental characteristics of the CCD detector which is part of the UNI astronomical observatory. We measured the linearity of the CCD detector of the SBIG STXL6303E camera, along with the associated gain and readout noise. The linear response to the incident light of the detector is extremely linear (R2 =99. Read More


Aqua MODIS, unlike its predecessor on board the Terra spacecraft, had always been thought to have been spared from significant deleterious impacts of electronic crosstalk on its imagery. However, recent efforts brought to our attention the presence of striping artifacts in Aqua MODIS images from band 24 (4.47$\mu$m), which upon further inspection proved to have a noticeable impact on the quality of the L1B product and to have been present since the beginning of the mission, in 2002. Read More


2017Mar
Affiliations: 1ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 2ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 3ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 4ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 5ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 6ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 7ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 8ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 9ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 10ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 11ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 12ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 13ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 14ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 15ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 16ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 17ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 18ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 19ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 20ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 21ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 22ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 23ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 24ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 25ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 26ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 27ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 28ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 29ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 30ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 31ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 32ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 33ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 34ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 35ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 36ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group, 37ALMA Time-domain Special Interest Group

While the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a uniquely powerful telescope, its impact in certain fields of astrophysics has been limited by observatory policies rather than the telescope's innate technical capabilities. In particular, several observatory policies present challenges for observations of variable, mobile, and/or transient sources --- collectively referred to here as "time-domain" observations. In this whitepaper we identify some of these policies, describe the scientific applications they impair, and suggest changes that would increase ALMA's science impact in Cycle 6 and beyond. Read More


We observe a large fraction of circular polarization in radio emission from extensive air showers recorded during thunderstorms, much higher than in the emission from air showers measured during fair-weather circumstances. We show that the circular polarization of the air showers measured during thunderstorms can be explained by the change in the direction of the transverse current as a function of altitude induced by atmospheric electric fields. Thus by using the full set of Stokes parameters for these events, we obtain a good characterization of the electric fields in thunderclouds. Read More


DREAMS (Dust Characterisation, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) is a payload accommodated on the Schiaparelli Entry and Descent Module (EDM) of ExoMars 2016, the ESA and Roscosmos mission to Mars (Esposito (2015), Bettanini et al. (2014)). It is a meteorological station with the additional capability to perform measure- ments of the atmospheric electric fields close to the surface of Mars. Read More


The patented and proven ABALONE Photosensor Technology (Daniel Ferenc, U.S. Patent 9,064,678, 2010) has the capability of opening new horizons in the fields of fundamental physics, functional medical imaging, and nuclear security. Read More


During the next decade, Chile will consolidate its place as the 'World Capital of Astronomy'. By 2025, more than 70% of the world's infrastructure for conducting professional astronomical observations will be installed in the Atacama Desert in the north of the country. The amazing scientific discoveries these telescopes produce have a direct impact on our understanding of the cosmos, and protecting this 'window to the universe' is fundamental in order to ensure humanity's right to contemplate the night sky and decipher our origins. Read More


This paper describes digital radio astronomical receivers used for decameter and meter wavelength observations. This paper describes digital radio astronomical receivers used for decameter and meter wavelength observations. Since 1998, digital receivers performing on-the-fly dynamic spectrum calculations or waveform data recording without data loss have been used at the UTR-2 radio telescope, the URAN VLBI system, and the GURT new generation radio telescope. Read More


Direct imaging of exoplanets requires the ability to build and maintain a high contrast dark hole (DH) within the science image to a high degree of precision. Current techniques, such as electric field conjugation (EFC), have been demonstrated in the lab and have shown that they are capable of generating a DH with high contrast. To do so, such techniques require continuous wavefront estimate updates that are acquired by interrupting the DH, thereby competing with the science measurement. Read More


The optical vortex coronagraph (OVC) is one of the promising ways for direct imaging exoplanets because of its small inner working angle and high throughput. This paper presents the design and laboratory demonstration performance at 633nm and 1520nm of the OVC based on liquid crystal polymers (LCP). Two LCPs has been manufactured in partnership with a commercial vendor. Read More


As a space-borne detector POLAR is designed to conduct hard X-ray polarization measurements of gamma-ray bursts on the statistically significant sample of events and with an unprecedented accuracy. During its development phase a number of tests, calibrations runs and verification measurements were carried out in order to validate instrument functionality and optimize operational parameters. In this article we present results on gain optimization togeter with verification data obtained in the course of broad laboratory and environmental tests. Read More


Bold colour images from telescopes act as extraordinary ambassadors for research astronomers because they pique the public's curiosity. But are they snapshots documenting physical reality? Or are we looking at artistic spacescapes created by digitally manipulating astronomy images? This paper provides a tour of how original black and white data, from all regimes of the electromagnetic spectrum, are converted into the colour images gracing popular magazines, numerous websites, and even clothing. The history and method of the technical construction of these images is outlined. Read More


In comparison to the radio and sub-millimetric domains, imaging with optical interferometry is still in its infancy. Due to the limited number of telescopes in existing arrays, image generation is a demanding process that relies on time-consuming reconfiguration of the interferometer array and super-synthesis. Using single mode optical fibres for the coherent transport of light from the collecting telescopes to the focal plane, a new generation of interferometers optimized for imaging can be designed. Read More