Stockholm university

Mats LöfdahlSenior Researcher


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Multi-frame blind deconvolution and phase diversity with statistical inclusion of uncorrected high-order modes

    2022. Mats G. Löfdahl, Tomas Hillberg. Astronomy and Astrophysics 668


    Context. Images collected with ground-based telescopes suffer blurring and distortions from turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. Adaptive optics (AO) can only partially compensate for these effects. Neither multi-frame blind deconvolution (MFBD) methods nor speckle techniques perfectly restore AO-compensated images to the correct power spectrum and contrast. MFBD methods can only estimate and compensate for a finite number of low-order aberrations, leaving a tail of uncorrected high-order modes. Restoration of AO-corrected data with speckle interferometry depends on calibrations of the AO corrections together with assumptions regarding the height distribution of atmospheric turbulence.

    Aims. We seek to develop an improvement to MFBD image restoration that combines the use of turbulence statistics to account for high-order modes in speckle interferometry with the ability of MFBD methods to sense low-order modes that can be partially corrected by AO and/or include fixed or slowly changing instrumental aberrations.

    Methods. We modify the MFBD image-formation model by supplementing the fitted low-order wavefront aberrations with tails of random high-order aberrations. These tails follow Kolmogorov statistics scaled to estimated or measured values of Fried’s parameter, r0, that characterize the strength of the seeing at the moment of data collection. We refer to this as statistical diversity (SD). We test the implementation of MFBD with SD with noise-free synthetic data, simulating many different values of r0 and numbers of modes corrected with AO.

    Results. Statistical diversity improves the contrasts and power spectra of restored images, both in accuracy and in consistency with varying r0, without penalty in processing time. Together with focus diversity (FD, or traditional phase diversity), the results are almost perfect. SD also reduces errors in the fitted wavefront parameters. MFBD with SD and FD seems to be resistant to errors of several percentage in the assumed r0 values.

    Conclusions. The addition of SD to MFBD methods shows great promise for improving contrasts and power spectra in restored images. Further studies with real data are merited.

    Read more about Multi-frame blind deconvolution and phase diversity with statistical inclusion of uncorrected high-order modes
  • SSTRED: Data- and metadata-processing pipeline for CHROMIS and CRISP

    2021. Mats G. Löfdahl (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 653


    Context. Data from ground-based, high-resolution solar telescopes can only be used for science with calibrations and processing, which requires detailed knowledge about the instrumentation. Space-based solar telescopes provide science-ready data, which are easier to work with for researchers whose expertise is in the interpretation of data. Recently, data-processing pipelines for ground-based instruments have been constructed.

    Aims. We aim to provide observers with a user-friendly data pipeline for data from the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope (SST) that delivers science-ready data together with the metadata needed for proper interpretation and archiving.

    Methods. We briefly describe the CHROMospheric Imaging Spectrometer (CHROMIS) instrument, including its (pre)filters, as well as recent upgrades to the CRisp Imaging SpectroPolarimeter (CRISP) prefilters and polarization optics. We summarize the processing steps from raw data to science-ready data cubes in FITS files. We report calibrations and compensations for data imperfections in detail. Misalignment of Ca II data due to wavelength-dependent dispersion is identified, characterized, and compensated for. We describe intensity calibrations that remove or reduce the effects of filter transmission profiles as well as solar elevation changes. We present REDUX, a new version of the MOMFBD image restoration code, with multiple enhancements and new features. It uses projective transforms for the registration of multiple detectors. We describe how image restoration is used with CRISP and CHROMIS data. The science-ready output is delivered in FITS files, with metadata compliant with the SOLARNET recommendations. Data cube coordinates are specified within the World Coordinate System (WCS). Cavity errors are specified as distortions of the WCS wavelength coordinate with an extension of existing WCS notation. We establish notation for specifying the reference system for Stokes vectors with reference to WCS coordinate directions. The CRIsp SPectral EXplorer (CRISPEX) data-cube browser has been extended to accept SSTRED output and to take advantage of the SOLARNET metadata.

    Results. SSTRED is a mature data-processing pipeline for imaging instruments, developed and used for the SST/CHROMIS imaging spectrometer and the SST/CRISP spectropolarimeter. SSTRED delivers well-characterized, science-ready, archival-quality FITS files with well-defined metadata. The SSTRED code, as well as REDUX and CRISPEX, is freely available through git repositories.

    Read more about SSTRED
  • Is the sky the limit? Performance of the revamped Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope and its blue- and red-beam reimaging systems

    2019. Göran B. Scharmer (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 626


    We discuss the use of measurements of the solar granulation contrast as a measure of optical quality. We demonstrate that for data recorded with a telescope that uses adaptive optics and/or post-processing to compensate for many low- and high-order aberrations, the RMS granulation contrast is directly proportional to the Strehl ratio calculated from the residual (small-scale) wavefront error (static and/or from seeing). We demonstrate that the wings of the high-order compensated point spread function for the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) are likely to extend to a radius of not more than about 2 '', which is consistent with earlier conclusions drawn from stray-light compensation of sunspot images. We report on simultaneous measurements of seeing and solar granulation contrast averaged over 2 s time intervals at several wavelengths from 525 nm to 853.6 nm on the red-beam (CRISP beam) and wavelengths from 395 nm to 484 nm on the blue-beam (CHROMIS beam). These data were recorded with the SST, which has been revamped with an 85-electrode adaptive mirror and a new tip-tilt mirror, both of which were polished to exceptionally high optical quality. Compared to similar data obtained with the previous 37-electrode adaptive mirror in 2009 and 2011, there is a significant improvement in image contrast. The highest 2 s average image contrasts measured in April 2015 through 0.3-0.9 nm interference filters at 525 nm, 557 nm, 630 nm, and 853.5 nm with compensation only for the diffraction limited point spread function of SST are 11.8%, 11.8%, 10.2%, and 7.2%, respectively. Similarly, the highest 2 s contrasts measured at 395 nm, 400 nm, and 484 nm in May 2016 through 0.37-1.3 nm filters are 16%, 16%, and 12.5%, respectively. The granulation contrast observed with SST compares favorably to measured values with SOT on Hinode and with Sunrise as well as major ground-based solar telescopes. Simultaneously with the above wideband red-beam data, we also recorded narrowband continuum images with the CRISP imaging spectropolarimeter. We find that contrasts measured with CRISP are entirely consistent with the corresponding wideband contrasts, demonstrating that any additional image degradation by the CRISP etalons and telecentric optical system is marginal or even insignificant. Finally, we discuss the origin of the 48 nm RMS wavefront error needed to bring consistency between the measured granulation contrast and that obtained from 3D simulations of convection.

    Read more about Is the sky the limit? Performance of the revamped Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope and its blue- and red-beam reimaging systems
  • Off-disk straylight measurements for the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope

    2016. Mats G. Löfdahl. Astronomy and Astrophysics 585


    Context. Accurate photometry with ground-based solar telescopes requires characterization of straylight. Scattering in Earth's atmosphere and in the telescope optics are potentially significant sources of straylight, for which the point spread function (PSF) has wings that reach very far. This kind of straylight produces an aureola, extending several solar radii o ff the solar disk. Aims. We want to measure such straylight using the ordinary science instrumentation. Methods. We scanned the intensity on and far o ff the solar disk by use of the science cameras in several di ff erent wavelength bands on a day with low-dust conditions. We characterized the far wing straylight by fitting a model to the recorded intensities involving a multicomponent straylight PSF and the limb darkening of the disk. Results. The measured scattered light adds an approximately constant fraction of the local granulation intensity to science images at any position on the disk. The fraction varied over the day but never exceeded a few percent. The PSFs have weak tails that extend to several solar radii, but most of the scattered light originates within similar to 1'. Conclusions. Far-wing scattered light contributes only a small amount of straylight in SST data. Other sources of straylight are primarily responsible for the reduced contrast in SST images.

    Read more about Off-disk straylight measurements for the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope

    2015. Jaime de la Cruz Rodriguez (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 573


    The production of science-ready data from major solar telescopes requires expertise beyond that of the typical observer. This is a consequence of the increasing complexity of instruments and observing sequences, which require calibrations and corrections for instrumental and seeing effects that are not only difficult to measure, but are also coupled in ways that require careful analysis in the design of the correction procedures. Modern space-based telescopes have data-processing pipelines capable of routinely producing well-characterized data products. High resolution imaging spectropolarimeters at ground-based telescopes need similar data pipelines. We present new methods for flat-fielding spectropolarimetric data acquired with telecentric Fabry-Perot instruments and a new approach for accurate camera co-alignment for image restoration. We document a procedure that forms the basis of current state-of- the-art processing of data from the CRISP imaging spectropolarimeter at the Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope (SST). By collecting, implementing, and testing a suite of computer programs, we have defined a data reduction pipeline for this instrument. This pipeline, CRISPRED, streamlines the process of making science-ready data. It is implemented and operated in IDL, with time-consuming steps delegated to C. CRISPRED will also be the basis for the data pipeline of the forthcoming CHROMIS instrument.

    Read more about CRISPRED
  • Sources of straylight in the post-focus imaging instrumentation of the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope

    2012. Mats G. Löfdahl, Göran B. Scharmer. Astronomy and Astrophysics 537


    Context. Recently measured straylight point spread functions (PSFs) in Hinode/SOT make granulation contrast in observed data and synthetic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) data consistent. Data from earthbound telescopes also need accurate correction for straylight and fixed optical aberrations.

    Aims. We aim to develop a method for measuring straylight in the post-focus imaging optics of the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST). Methods. We removed any influence from atmospheric turbulence and scattering by using an artificial target. We measured integrated straylight from three different sources in the same data: ghost images caused by reflections in the near-detector optics, PSFs corresponding to wavefront aberrations in the optics by using phase diversity, and extended scattering PSF wings of unknown origin by fitting to a number of different kernels. We performed the analysis separately in the red beam and the blue beam.

    Results. Wavefront aberrations, which possibly originate in the bimorph mirror of the adaptive optics, are responsible for a wavelength-dependent straylight of 20-30% of the intensity in the form of PSFs with 90% of the energy contained within a radius of 0 '' 6. There are ghost images that contribute at the most a few percent of straylight. The fraction of other sources of scattered light from the post-focus instrumentation of the SST is only similar to 10(-3) of the recorded intensity. This contribution has wide wings with a FWHM similar to 16 '' in the blue and similar to 34 '' in the red.

    Conclusions. The present method seems to work well for separately estimating wavefront aberrations and the scattering kernel shape and fraction. Ghost images can be expected to remain at the same level for solar observations. The high-order wavefront aberrations possibly caused by the AO bimorph mirror dominate the measured straylight but are likely to change when imaging the Sun. We can therefore make no firm statements about the origin of straylight in SST data, but strongly suspect wavefront aberrations to be the dominant source.

    Read more about Sources of straylight in the post-focus imaging instrumentation of the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope
  • A tilted interference filter in a converging beam

    2011. Mats G. Löfdahl, Vasco M. J. Henriques, Dan Kiselman. Astronomy and Astrophysics 533


    Context. Narrow-band interference filters can be tuned toward shorter wavelengths by tilting them from the perpendicular to the optical axis. This can be used as a cheap alternative to real tunable filters, such as Fabry-Perot interferometers and Lyot filters. At the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope, such a setup is used to scan through the blue wing of the Ca II H line. Because the filter is mounted in a converging beam, the incident angle varies over the pupil, which causes a variation of the transmission over the pupil, different for each wavelength within the passband. This causes broadening of the filter transmission profile and degradation of the image quality. Aims. We want to characterize the properties of our filter, at normal incidence as well as at different tilt angles. Knowing the broadened profile is important for the interpretation of the solar images. Compensating the images for the degrading effects will improve the resolution and remove one source of image contrast degradation. In particular, we need to solve the latter problem for images that are also compensated for blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence. Methods. We simulate the process of image formation through a tilted interference filter in order to understand the effects. We test the hypothesis that they are separable from the effects of wavefront aberrations for the purpose of image deconvolution. We measure the filter transmission profile and the degrading PSF from calibration data. Results. We find that the filter transmission profile differs significantly from the specifications. We demonstrate how to compensate for the image-degrading effects. Because the filter tilt effects indeed appear to be separable from wavefront aberrations in a useful way, this can be done in a final deconvolution, after standard image restoration with Multi-Frame Blind Deconvolution/Phase Diversity based methods. We illustrate the technique with real data.

    Read more about A tilted interference filter in a converging beam
  • Evaluation of image shift measurement algorithms for solar Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors

    2010. Mats Löfdahl. Astronomy and Astrophysics 524, A90


    Context. Solar Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors measure differential wavefront tilts as the relative shift between images from different subapertures. There are several methods in use for measuring these shifts. Aims: We evaluate the inherent accuracy of the methods and the effects of various sources of error, such as noise, bias mismatch, and blurring. We investigate whether Z-tilts or G-tilts are measured. Methods: We test the algorithms on two kinds of artificial data sets, one corresponding to images with known shifts and one corresponding to seeing with different r0. Results: Our results show that the best methods for shift measurements are based on the square difference function and the absolute difference function squared, with subpixel accuracy accomplished by use of two-dimensional quadratic interpolation. These methods measure Z-tilts rather than G-tilts.

    Read more about Evaluation of image shift measurement algorithms for solar Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors
  • High-order aberration compensation with multi-frame blind deconvolution and phase diversity image restoration techniques

    2010. Göran B. Scharmer (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 521, A68


    Context. For accurately measuring intensities and determining magnetic field strengths of small-scale solar (magnetic) structure, knowledge of and compensation for the point spread function is crucial. For images recorded with the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope (SST), restoration with multi-frame blind deconvolution (MFBD) and joint phase diverse speckle (JPDS) methods lead to remarkable improvements in image quality but granulation contrasts that are too low, indicating additional stray light. Aims. We propose a method to compensate for stray light from high-order atmospheric aberrations not included in MFBD and JPDS processing. Methods. To compensate for uncorrected aberrations, a reformulation of the image restoration process is proposed that allows the average effect of hundreds of high-order modes to be compensated for by relying on Kolmogorov statistics for these modes. The applicability of the method requires simultaneous measurements of Fried's parameter r(0). The method is tested with simulations as well as real data and extended to include compensation for conventional stray light. Results. We find that only part of the reduction of granulation contrast in SST images is due to uncompensated high-order aberrations. The remainder is still unaccounted for and attributed to stray light from the atmosphere, the telescope with its re-imaging system and to various high-altitude seeing effects. Conclusions. We conclude that statistical compensation of high-order modes is a viable method to reduce the loss of contrast occurring when a limited number of aberrations is explicitly compensated for with MFBD and JPDS processing. We show that good such compensation is possible with only 10 recorded frames. The main limitation of the method is that already MFBD and JPDS processing introduces high-order compensation that, if not taken into account, can lead to over-compensation.

    Read more about High-order aberration compensation with multi-frame blind deconvolution and phase diversity image restoration techniques

Show all publications by Mats Löfdahl at Stockholm University