Volume 539, March 2012
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||29 February 2012|
Optimal computation of brightness integrals parametrized on the unit sphere
1 Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, PO Box 553, 33101 Tampere, Finland
2 Department of General Education, Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau, PR China
Received: 30 August 2011
Accepted: 19 December 2011
We compare various approaches to find the most efficient method for the practical computation of the lightcurves (integrated brightnesses) of irregularly shaped bodies such as asteroids at arbitrary viewing and illumination geometries. For convex models, this reduces to the problem of the numerical computation of an integral over a simply defined part of the unit sphere. We introduce a fast method, based on Lebedev quadratures, which is optimal for both lightcurve simulation and inversion in the sense that it is the simplest and fastest widely applicable procedure for accuracy levels corresponding to typical data noise. The method requires no tessellation of the surface into a polyhedral approximation. At the accuracy level of 0.01 mag, it is up to an order of magnitude faster than polyhedral sums that are usually applied to this problem, and even faster at higher accuracies. This approach can also be used in other similar cases that can be modelled on the unit sphere. The method is easily implemented in lightcurve inversion by a simple alteration of the standard algorithm/software.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / methods: numerical / techniques: photometric / scattering
© ESO, 2012
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