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Bias-Free Bispectrum Estimation for Optical Interferometry

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Long-baseline optical interferometry uses the power spectrum and bispectrum constructs as fundamental observables. Noise arising in the detection of the fringe pattern gives rise to both variance and biases in the power spectrum and bispectrum. We show that the current generation of bispectrum estimators returns biased observables, which can significantly change scientific conclusions about the target under certain observing conditions. We construct and present new estimators to be used in the reduction of long-baseline optical interferometry data which are bias-free in the presence of both photon and read noise.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Astrophysics Seminars series.

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