A high-contrast imaging algorithm: optimized image rotation and subtraction

Image Rotation and Subtraction (IRS) is a high-contrast imaging technique that can be used to suppress the speckle noise and facilitate the direct detection of exoplanets. IRS is different from Angular Differential Imaging (ADI), in that it will subtract a copy of the image with 180 degrees rotated around its point-spread function (PSF) center, rather than the subtraction of the median of all of the PSF images. Since the planet itself will be rotated to the other side of the PSF, IRS does not suffer from planet self-subtraction. In this paper, we have introduced an optimization algorithm to IRS (OIRS), that can provide an extra contrast gain at small angular separations. The performance of OIRS has been demonstrated with ADI data. We then made a comparison of the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) achieved by algorithms of locally optimized combinations of images and OIRS. Finally, we found that the OIRS algorithm can deliver a better S/N for small angular separations.