Volume 128, Number 6, December 2019
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||31 January 2020|
Detecting structured sources in noisy images via Minkowski maps
1 Department of Physics, Princeton University - Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
2 Institut für Theoretische Physik, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg - Staudtstr. 7, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Received: 13 September 2019
Accepted: 21 December 2019
Astronomy, biophysics, and material science often depend on the possibility to extract information out of faint spatial signals. Here we present a morphometric analysis technique to quantify the shape of structural deviations in greyscale images. It identifies important features in noisy spatial data, especially for short observation times and low statistics. Without assuming any prior knowledge about potential sources, the additional shape information can increase the sensitivity by 14 orders of magnitude compared to previous methods. Rejection rates can increase by an order of magnitude. As a key ingredient to such a dramatic increase, we accurately describe the distribution of the homogeneous background noise in terms of the density of states for the area A, perimeter P, and Euler characteristic χ of random black-and-white images. The technique is successfully applied to data of the H.E.S.S. experiment for the detection of faint extended sources.
PACS: 07.05.Kf – Data analysis: algorithms and implementation; data management / 02.50.-r – Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics / 02.40.-k – Geometry, differential geometry, and topology
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