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Precision Projector Laboratory: Detector Characterization with an Astronomical Emulation Testbed

Shapiro, Charles and Smith, Roger and Huff, Eric and Plazas, Andrés A. and Rhodes, Jason and Fucik, Jason and Goodsall, Tim and Massey, Richard and Rowe, Barnaby and Seshadri, Suresh (2018) Precision Projector Laboratory: Detector Characterization with an Astronomical Emulation Testbed. . (Submitted)

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As astronomical observations from space benefit from improved sensitivity, the effectiveness of scientific programs is becoming limited by systematics that often originate in poorly understood image sensor behavior. Traditional, bottom-up detector characterization methods provide one way to model underlying detector physics, and generate ever more faithful numerical simulations, but this approach is vulnerable to preconceptions and over-simplification. The alternative top-down approach is laboratory emulation, which enables observation, calibration, and analysis scenarios to be tested without relying on a complete understanding of the underlying physics. This complements detector characterization and simulation efforts by testing their validity. We describe a laboratory facility and experimental testbed that supports the emulation of a wide range of mission concepts such as gravitational weak lensing measurements by WFIRST and high precision spectrophotometry of transiting exoplanets by JWST. An Offner relay projects readily customizable "scenes" (e.g. stars, galaxies, spectra) with very low optical aberration over the full area of a typical optical or near infrared image sensor. f/8 and slower focal ratios may be selected, spanning those of most proposed space missions and approximating the point spread function (PSF) size of seeing limited ground based surveys. Diffraction limited PSFs are projected over a wide field of view and wavelength range to deliver highly predictable image patterns down to sub-pixel scales with stable intensity and fine motion control. The testbed enables realistic validation of detector performance on science-like images, which aids mission design and survey strategy, as well as targeted investigations of various detector effects.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Rhodes, Jason0000-0002-4485-8549
Additional Information:We sincerely thank members of Caltech Optical Observatories who contributed to the construction and maintenance of the PPL testbed: Dave Hale, Jennifer Milburn, Hector Rodriguez, Patrick Murphy, Michael Feeney, Justin Belicki, Alex Delacroix, and former team members Eric Jullo and Viswa Velur, who were key players in the early stages of development. Thanks to Warren Holmes and the Euclid detector working group for lending the H2RG detector used in sub-pixel and brighter-fatter effect measurements. This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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Subject Keywords:Instrumentation, Calibration, Astronomy
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190104-135555414
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92094
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Jan 2019 23:35
Last Modified:04 Jan 2019 23:35

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