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Barret D.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology | Vaughan S.,University of Leicester
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

High-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) from weakly magnetized neutron stars display rapid frequency variability (second timescales) and high coherence with quality factors up to at least 200 at frequencies about 800-850Hz. Their parameters have been estimated so far from standard min(χ2) fitting techniques, after combining a large number of power density spectra (PDS), to have the powers normally distributed (the so-called Gaussian regime). Before combining PDS, different methods to minimize the effects of the frequency drift to the estimates of the QPO parameters have been proposed, but none of them relied on fitting the individual PDS. Accounting for the statistical properties of PDS, we apply a maximum likelihood method to derive the QPO parameters in the non-Gaussian regime. The method presented is general, easy to implement, and can be applied to fitting individual PDS, several PDS simultaneously, or their average, and is obviously not specific to the analysis of kHz QPO data. It applies to the analysis of any PDS optimized in frequency resolution and for low-frequency variability or PDS containing features whose parameters vary on short timescales, as is the case for kHz QPOs. It is equivalent to the standard χ2 minimization fitting when the number of PDS fitted is large. The accuracy, reliability, and superiority of the method is demonstrated with simulations of synthetic PDS, containing Lorentzian QPOs of known parameters. Accounting for the broadening of the QPO profile, due to the leakage of power inherent to windowed Fourier transforms, the maximum likelihood estimates of the QPO parameters are asymptotically unbiased and have negligible bias when the QPO is reasonably well detected. By contrast, we show that the standard min(χ2) fitting method gives biased parameters with larger uncertainties. The maximum likelihood fitting method is applied to a subset of archival Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data of the neutron star X-ray binary 4U1608-522, for which we show that the lower kHz QPO parameters can be measured on timescales as short as 8 s. To demonstrate the potential use of the results of the maximum likelihood method, we show that in the observation analyzed the time evolution of the frequency is consistent with a random walk. We then show that the broadening of the QPO due to the frequency drift scales as √T, as expected from a random walk (T is the integration time of the PDS). This enables us to estimate the intrinsic quality factor of the QPO to be 260, whereas previous analysis indicated a maximum value around 200. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Anterrieu E.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology | Anterrieu E.,French National Center for Scientific Research
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing | Year: 2011

The SMOS mission is a European Space Agency project aimed at global monitoring of surface Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity from radiometric L-band observations. This paper is concerned with the contamination of the data collected by SMOS by radio-frequency interferences (RFIs) which degrade the performance of the mission. RFI events are evidenced on both reference radiometer measurements and interferometric ones. It is explained why well-known standard RFI detection methods cannot be used. A specific method for the SMOS mission is presented and illustrated with data acquired during the commissioning phase. © 2011 IEEE.

Ballmoos P.V.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2013

Gamma-ray astronomy presents an extraordinary scientific potential for the study of the most powerful sources and the most violent events in the Universe. Those extreme conditions occur generally at the endpoints of stellar lives, when the comparatively calm thermal evolution gives way to more violent nonthermal processes. Present telescopes in nuclear astrophysics make use of inelastic interaction processes based on geometrical optics or quantum optics, i.e. shadowcasting in modulating aperture systems, and particle tracking detectors respectively. After reviewing the above instrument concepts, we focus on recent developments in crystal diffraction optics. For the first time in gamma-ray astronomy, this type of optics permits to concentrate photons from a large collector onto a small detector, dramatically improving the sensitivity of next generation space telescopes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Margerin L.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2013

This paper presents an analytical study of the multiple scattering of seismic waves by a collection of randomly distributed point scatterers. The theory assumes that the energy envelopes are smooth, but does not require perturbations to be small, thereby allowing the modelling of strong, resonant scattering. The correlation tensor of seismic coda waves recorded at a threecomponent sensor is decomposed into a sum of eigenmodes of the elastodynamic multiple scattering (Bethe-Salpeter) equation. For a general moment tensor excitation, a total number of four modes is necessary to describe the transport of seismic waves polarization. Their spatiotemporal dependence is given in closed analytical form. Two additional modes transporting exclusively shear polarizations may be excited by antisymmetric moment tensor sources only. The general solution converges towards an equipartition mixture of diffusing P and S waves which allows the retrieval of the local Green's function from coda waves. The equipartition time is obtained analytically and the impact of absorption on Green's function reconstruction is discussed. The process of depolarization of multiply scattered waves and the resulting loss of information is illustrated for various seismic sources. It is shown that coda waves may be used to characterize the source mechanism up to lapse times of the order of a few mean free times only. In the case of resonant scatterers, a formula for the diffusivity of seismic waves incorporating the effect of energy entrapment inside the scatterers is obtained. Application of the theory to high-contrast media demonstrates that coda waves are more sensitive to slow rather than fast velocity anomalies by several orders of magnitude. Resonant scattering appears as an attractive physical phenomenon to explain the small values of the diffusion constant of seismic waves reported in volcanic areas. © The Author 2012 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.

Barret D.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

EXO1745-248 is a transient neutron star low-mass X-ray binary located in the globular cluster Terzan 5. It was in outburst in 2000 and displayed during one Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer observation a highly coherent quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) at frequencies between 670 and 715Hz. Applying a maximum likelihood method to fit the X-ray power density spectrum, we show that the QPO can be detected on segments as short as T = 48 s. We find that its width is consistent with being constant, while previous analysis based on longer segment duration (200s) found it variable. If the QPO frequency variations in EXO1745-248 follow a random walk (i.e., the contribution of the drift to the measured width increases like ), we derive an intrinsic width of 2.3 Hz. This corresponds to an intrinsic quality factor of Q 297 ± 50 at 691Hz. We also show that Q is consistent with being constant between 2.5 and 25keV. IGR J17480-2446 is another X-ray transient located in Terzan 5. It is a very interesting object showing accretion-powered pulsations and burst oscillations at 11Hz. We report on the properties of its kHz QPOs detected between October 18 and October 23, soon after the source had moved from the so-called Atoll state to the Z state. Its QPOs are typical of persistent Z sources; in the sense that they have low Q factors (30) and low rms amplitudes (5%). The highest frequency (at 870 Hz), if orbital, sets a lower limit on the inner disk radius of 18.5 km and an upper limit to the dipole moment of the magnetic field μ ≤ 5 × 1026 G cm3. © 2012 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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