Spread spectrum for imaging techniques in radio interferometry
We consider the probe of astrophysical signals through radio interferometers with small field of view and baselines with non-negligible and constant component in the pointing direction. In this context, the visibilities measured essentially identify with a noisy and incomplete Fourier coverage of the product of the planar signals with a linear chirp modulation. In light of the recent theory of compressed sensing and in the perspective of defining the best possible imaging techniques for sparse signals, we analyze the related spread spectrum phenomenon and suggest its universality relative to the sparsity dictionary. Our results rely both on theoretical considerations related to the mutual coherence between the sparsity and sensing dictionaries, as well as on numerical simulations.