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Detection of Forming Planets with Integral Field Spectrographs

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : vendredi 21 mai 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR5274-MICBON-002
Workplace : GRENOBLE
Date of publication : Thursday, April 15, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Mickaël Bonnefoy
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

More than 4500 exoplanets have been discovered as of now, most of them being formed billions of years ago. The recent direct imaging detection of planets still in the process of formation [1] opens an unprecedented observing window of the initial stages of planetary systems (tens of millions of years ages).
This discovery was made possible thanks to the advances of efficient adaptive optics systems coupled to medium-resolution integral field spectrographs (IFS), producing hyperspectral data at high spatial and spectral resolutions. The data diversity can be used to remove the bright stellar halo and isolate the faint and sparse planetary signal. A large potential exists to improve the overall data processing strategy and boost our detection capabilities.

The student will lead the development, implementation (testing and validation), and deployment of novel algorithms for IFS data processing and increasing the detection of forming planets. The work will be split into three main items:
the student will adapt specific methods [2] to improve the quality of the pre-processing steps of our hyperspectral data and reduce the false positive rate;
He/She will propose and adapt algorithms for detecting sparse planetary signals in the optimally processed data (match filter, pattern recognition,...);
She/He will then massively apply these tools on existing and forthcoming data obtained at the Very Large Telescope (VLT; Chile) to detect new planets.
She/He will be given the opportunity to lead his/her own observing programs, and participate in the scientific preparation of the ongoing instruments VLT-SPHERE+ and ELT-HARMONI which will soon offer additional opportunities for detecting and characterizing such planets. The algorithms and discoveries will be published in reference papers and the codes publicly released.

[1] Haffert et al. 2019, Nature Astronomy, 3, 749

[2] Berdeu et al. 2020, A&A, 635, 90

Work Context

The student will be co-supervised by Mickaël BONNEFOY and Philippe DELORME at IPAG (Grenoble, France) and Ferréol SOULEZ at CRAL (Lyon, France). The student will work within the framework of the ANR project FRAME hosted at IPAG and coordinated by M. BONNEFOY. FRAME is focused on protoplanet detection and characterization. As such, He/She will be part of vibrant teams of researchers including astronomers expert in star formation and exoplanets and data scientists. She/He will also collaborate closely with experts in signal processing in the local area (Grenoble, Saint-Etienne, Lyon).

Constraints and risks

International travels and work at high altitude sites (>2500m)

Additional Information

We are looking for a Master Student with a background in Data Science and strong interest in astrophysics. The student should show a proficiency for solving complex problems rigorously and for dealing with data and algorithms. She/He should have excellent writing skills in English (French is a plus) and be able to present her/his work. Teamwork skill is essential.

Master Degree in Applied Mathematics, Signal Processing, Data Science
Knowledge of spectroscopy and imaging. Knowledge of hyperspectral imaging is appreciated.
Coding skills in Python. Knowledge of Julia and Matlab are a plus.
Writing skills in English

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