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Ongoing and open projects

  • “Determining direct-imaging exoplanet limits for METIS with Simcado” – Master student Enrico Biancalani started 7 March 2018 (co-supervised with Matt Kenworthy)
  • Analysis of the thermal infrared background properties for ELT/METIS, using test observations with VISIR at the VLT. The goal of this project is to understand quantitatively the structures in the thermal-infrared background, caused by the warm telescope and (to a lesser degree) by the sky. Multiple components, varying on different timescales, need to be disentangled using the large amounts of data in the ESO archive and our own test observations. This MSc project requires (and will help to develop) skills in
    • image analysis
    • (big) data handling
    • statistics (noise properties, correlations)
      Status: searching for a Master student
  • Simulating the noise cancellation properties of Drift Scanning, a novel background reduction technique for ELT/METIS. In normal mid-infrared observations, “chopping” and “nodding” allow to cancel both the variable detector response function and the high background originating from the warm telescope and, to a lesser extent, from the sky (see project above). METIS will for the first time be using a cryogenic chopper that can be steered and controlled in many more ways than classical chopper mirrors (that usually only point to two different positions on sky). In this project we want to explore, using image simulations, the noise cancellation performance of “drift scanning”, an alternative background reduction technique, where the source is moved over the detector during the exposure. This MSc project requires (and will help to develop) skills in
    • efficient scripting e.g. in Python numpy
    • statistics (noise properties, correlations, error propagation)
      Status: searching for a Master student

Please get in contact with me should you be interested in any of these projects.

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