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In-flight photometry extraction of PLATO targets: Optimal apertures for detecting extrasolar planets

Marchiori, V and Samadi, R and Fialho, F and Paproth, Carsten and Santerne, A and Pertenais, Martin and Börner, Anko and Cabrera Perez, Juan and Monsky, A and Kutrowski, N (2019) In-flight photometry extraction of PLATO targets: Optimal apertures for detecting extrasolar planets. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 627, A71. EDP Sciences. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935269 ISSN 0004-6361

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Official URL: https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2019/07/aa35269-19.pdf


Context. The ESA PLATO space mission is devoted to unveiling and characterizing new extrasolar planets and their host stars. This mission will encompass a very large (>2100 deg2) field of view, granting it the potential to survey up to one million stars depending on the final observation strategy. The telemetry budget of the spacecraft cannot handle transmitting individual images for such a huge stellar sample at the right cadence, so the development of an appropriate strategy to perform on-board data reduction is mandatory. Aims. We employ mask-based (aperture) photometry to produce stellar light curves in flight. Our aim is thus to find the mask model that optimizes the scientific performance of the reduced data. Methods. We considered three distinct aperture models: binary mask, weighted Gaussian mask, and weighted gradient mask giving lowest noise-to-signal ratio, computed through a novel direct method. Each model was tested on synthetic images generated for 50 000 potential PLATO targets. We extracted the stellar population from the Gaia DR2 catalogue. An innovative criterion was adopted for choosing between different mask models. We designated as optimal the model providing the best compromise between sensitivity to detect true and false planet transits. We determined the optimal model based on simulated noise-to-signal ratio and frequency of threshold crossing events. Results. Our results show that, although the binary mask statistically presents a few percent higher noise-to-signal ratio compared to weighted masks, both strategies have very similar efficiency in detecting legitimate planet transits. When it comes to avoiding spurious signals from contaminant stars however the binary mask statistically collects considerably less contaminant flux than weighted masks, thereby allowing the former to deliver up to ∼30% less false transit signatures at 7.1σ detection threshold. Conclusions. Our proposed approach for choosing apertures has been proven to be decisive for the determination of a mask model capable to provide near maximum planet yield and substantially reduced occurrence of false positives for the PLATO mission. Overall, this work constitutes an important step in the design of both on-board and on-ground science data processing pipelines.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127638/
Document Type:Article
Title:In-flight photometry extraction of PLATO targets: Optimal apertures for detecting extrasolar planets
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Fialho, FUniversidade de São PauloUNSPECIFIED
Paproth, CarstenCarsten.Paproth (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Santerne, ALAM, MarseilleUNSPECIFIED
Pertenais, MartinMartin.Pertenais (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Börner, AnkoAnko.Boerner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Cabrera Perez, JuanJuan.Cabrera (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kutrowski, NThales Alenia Space, CannesUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomy and Astrophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1051/0004-6361/201935269
Page Range:A71
Publisher:EDP Sciences
Keywords:instrumentation: photometers, planets and satellites: detection, techniques: photometric, methods: numerical, catalogs, zodiacal dust
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project PLATO
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Paproth, Carsten
Deposited On:06 Jun 2019 11:56
Last Modified:21 Jan 2020 09:32

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