Algebraic analysis of the phase-calibration problem in the self-calibration procedures

Abstract : This paper presents an analysis of the phase-calibration problem encountered in astronomy when mapping incoherent sources with aperture-synthesis devices. More precisely, this analysis concerns the phase-calibration operation involved in the self-calibration procedures of phase-closure imaging. The paper revisits and completes a previous analysis presented by Lannes in the Journal of the Optical Society of America A in 2005. It also benefits from some recent developments made for solving similar problems encountered in global navigation satellite systems. In radio-astronomy, the related optimization problems have been stated and solved hitherto at the phasor level. We present here an analysis conducted at the phase level, from which we derive a method for diagnosing and solving the difficulties of the phasor approach. In the most general case, the techniques to be implemented appeal to the algebraic graph theory and the algebraic number theory. The minima of the objective functionals to be minimized are identified by raising phase-closure integer ambiguities. We also show that in some configurations, to benefit from all the available information, closure phases of order greater than three are to be introduced. In summary, this study leads to a better understanding of the difficulties related to the very principle of phase-closure imaging. To circumvent these difficulties, we propose a strategy both simple and robust.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 2:13:20 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 28, 2019 - 4:02:04 PM

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André Lannes, Jean-Louis Prieur. Algebraic analysis of the phase-calibration problem in the self-calibration procedures. Astronomical Notes / Astronomische Nachrichten, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2011, 332 (8), pp.759-784. ⟨10.1002/asna.201111605⟩. ⟨hal-00658399⟩

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