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Imaging from STIX visibility amplitudes

by   Paolo Massa, et al.
berkeley college
Università di Genova

Aims: To provide the first demonstration of STIX Fourier-transform X-ray imaging using semi-calibrated (amplitude-only) visibility data acquired during the Solar Orbiter's cruise phase. Methods: We use a parametric imaging approach by which STIX visibility amplitudes are fitted by means of two non-linear optimization methods: a fast meta-heuristic technique inspired by social behavior, and a Bayesian Monte Carlo sampling method, which, although slower, provides better quantification of uncertainties. Results: When applied to a set of solar flare visibility amplitudes recorded by STIX on November 18, 2020 the two parametric methods provide very coherent results. The analysis also demonstrates the ability of STIX to reconstruct high time resolution information and, from a spectral viewpoint, shows the reliability of a double-source scenario consistent with a thermal versus nonthermal interpretation. Conclusions: In this preliminary analysis of STIX imaging based only on visibility amplitudes, we formulate the imaging problem as a non-linear parametric issue we addressed by means of two high-performance optimization techniques that both showed the ability to sample the parametric space in an effective fashion, thus avoiding local minima.


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