Paper accepted : New inpainting method to handle colored-noise data to test the weak equivalence principle

The context

The MICROSCOPE space mission, launched on April 25, 2016, aims to test the weak equivalence principle (WEP) with a 1015 precision. To reach this performance requires an accurate and robust data analysis method, especially since the possible WEP violation signal will be dominated by a strongly colored noise. An important complication is brought by the fact that some values will be missing –therefore, the measured time series will not be strictly regularly sampled. Those missing values induce a spectral leakage that significantly increases the noise in Fourier space, where the WEP violation signal is looked for, thereby complicating scientific returns.


FIG. 1 (from Pires et al, 2016): The black curve shows the MICROSCOPE PSD es- timate for a 120 orbits simulation. An example of a possible EPV signal of 3 × 10−15 in the inertial mode is shown by the peak at 1.8 × 10−4 Hz. The grey curve shows the spectral leakage affecting the PSD estimate when gaps are present in the data.















The results

Recently, we developed an inpainting algorithm to correct the MICROSCOPE data for missing values (in red, fig 4). This code has been integrated in the official MICROSCOPE data processing and analysis pipeline because it enables us to significantly measure an equivalence principle violation (EPV) signal in a model-independent way, in the inertial satellite configuration. In this work, we present several improvements to the method that may allow us now to reach the MICROSCOPE requirements for both inertial and spin satellite configurations (green curve, fig. 4).




FIG. 4 (from Pires et al, 2016): MICROSCOPE differential acceleration PSD estimates averaged over 100 simulations in the inertial mode (upper panel) and in the spin mode (lower panel). The black lines show the PSD estimated when all the data is available, the red lines show the PSD estimated from data filled with the inpainting method developed in Paper I and the green lines show the PSD estimated from data filled with the new inpainting method (ICON) presented in this paper.

The code ICON

The code corresponding to the paper is available for download here.

Although, the inpainting method presented in this paper has been optimized to the MICROSCOPE data, it remains sufficiently general to be used in the general context of missing data in time series dominated by an unknown colored-noise.


 Dealing with missing data in the MICROSCOPE space mission: An adaptation of inpainting to handle colored-noise data, S. Pires, J. Bergé, Q. Baghi, P. Touboul, G. Métris, accepted in Physical Review D, December 2016

Dealing with missing data: An inpainting application to the MICROSCOPE space mission, J. Bergé, S. Pires, Q. Baghi, P. Touboul, G. Metris, Physical Review D, 92, 11, December 2015