5 August 2010 Kepler instrument performance: an in-flight update
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The Kepler Mission is designed to detect the 80 parts per million (ppm) signal from an Earth-Sun equivalent transit. Such precision requires superb instrument stability on time scales up to 2 days and systematic error removal to better than 20 ppm. The sole scientific instrument is the Photometer, a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt telescope that feeds the 94.6 million pixel CCD detector array, which contains both Science and Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) CCDs. Since Kepler's launch in March 2009, we have been using the commissioning and science operations data to characterize the instrument and monitor its performance. We find that the in-flight detector properties of the focal plane, including bias levels, read noise, gain, linearity, saturation, FGS to Science crosstalk, and video crosstalk between Science CCDs, are essentially unchanged from their pre-launch values. Kepler's unprecedented sensitivity and stability in space have allowed us to measure both short- and long- term effects from cosmic rays, see interactions of previously known image artifacts with starlight, and uncover several unexpected systematics that affect photometric precision. Based on these results, we expect to attain Kepler's planned photometric precision over 90% of the field of view.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Douglas A. Caldwell, Douglas A. Caldwell, Jeffrey E. Van Cleve, Jeffrey E. Van Cleve, Jon M. Jenkins, Jon M. Jenkins, Vic S. Argabright, Vic S. Argabright, Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, Edward W. Dunham, Edward W. Dunham, John C. Geary, John C. Geary, Peter Tenenbaum, Peter Tenenbaum, Hema Chandrasekaran, Hema Chandrasekaran, Jie Li, Jie Li, Hayley Wu, Hayley Wu, Jason Von Wilpert, Jason Von Wilpert, } "Kepler instrument performance: an in-flight update", Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 773117 (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856638; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.856638


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