Weighted ICP Algorithm for Alignment of Stars from Scanned Astronomical Photographic Plates
Keywords:Iterative Closest Point (ICP) Algorithm, Stellar Alignment, Weighted Stellar Alignment Astronomical Wide Plate Registration
Given the coarse celestial coordinates of the centre of a plate scan and the field of view, we are looking for a mapping between the stars extracted from the image and the stars from a catalogue, where the stars from both sources are represented by their stellar magnitudes and coordinates, relatively to the image centre. In a previous work we demonstrated the application of Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm for the alignment problem where stars were represented only by their geometrical coordinates. ICP leads to translation and rotation of the initial points - a correction required for one set of stars to fit over the other. This paper extends the previous work by demonstrating significant improvement of ICP by using the stellar magnitudes as point weights. The improvement consists of great decrease of the iteration count until convergence, which helps in the case of highly “misaligned” initial states. The essential aspects of the ICP method like noise tolerance of false or missing stars are still in charge.