Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics


Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Jason Aufdenberg

First Committee Member

Dr. Edwin Mierkiewicz

Second Committee Member

Dr. Anthony Reynolds


Binary stars are critical for establishing knowledge of stellar masses and refining the mass-luminosity relationship when used in conjunction with precise parallax measurements. However, many spectroscopic binaries have poorly defined orbital parameters as they have not been revisited with newer CCD technology since their first observations on photographic plates. This thesis examines the feasibility of using the high-resolution échelle spectrograph at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) to obtain radial velocities of spectroscopic binary stars, and establishes a software pipeline to obtain their orbital parameters. This was done by looking at the double-lined binaries HD 205539 and Pegasi, as well as the single-lined binary Andromedae. Twenty-five nights of data were taken from October 18th, 2016 to December 18th, 2016. These data were cross correlated against the radial velocity standards 1 Piscium and α Cassiopeiae. A two-dimensional cross-correlation algorithm created by Zucker and Mazeh [1994] was translated into MATLAB and was used to calculate the radial velocities for the double-lined systems, and a MATLAB cross-correlation algorithm was implemented to do the same for the single-lined system. Orbital parameters were found using the Spectroscopic Binary Solver from Johnson [2004] that match previously determined parameters, derived from independent data, to within two standard deviations. It can be concluded that the spectrograph and data analysis pipeline has sufficient accuracy and precision to be used for further studies into spectroscopic binary systems.