29 July 2016 First light of the NIRISS Optical Simulator (NOS)
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Abstract
The Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) Optical Simulator (NOS) is a laboratory simulation of the single-object slitless spectroscopy and aperture masking interferometry modes of the NIRISS instrument onboard the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). A transiting exoplanet can be simulated by periodically eclipsing a small portion (1% - 10ppm) of a super continuum laser source (0.4 μm - 2.4 μm) with a dichloromethane filled cell. Dichloromethane exhibits multiple absorption features in the near infrared domain hence the net effect is analogous to the atmospheric absorption features of an exoplanet transiting in front of its host star. The NOS uses an HAWAII-2RG and an ASIC controller cooled to cryogenic temperatures. A separate photometric beacon provides a flux reference to monitor laser variations. The telescope jitter can be simulated using a high-resolution motorized pinhole placed along the optical path. Laboratory transiting spectroscopy data produced by the NOS will be used to refine analysis methods, characterize the noise due to the jitter, characterize the noise floor and to develop better observation strategies. We report in this paper the first exoplanet transit event simulated by the NOS. The performance is currently limited by relatively high thermal background in the system and high frequency temporal variations of the continuum source.
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Jonathan St-Antoine, Jonathan St-Antoine, Loïc Albert, Loïc Albert, René Doyon, René Doyon, Philippe Vallée, Philippe Vallée, Étienne Artigau, Étienne Artigau, Olivier Hernandez, Olivier Hernandez, Simon Thibault, Simon Thibault, Denis Brousseau, Denis Brousseau, } "First light of the NIRISS Optical Simulator (NOS)", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 990447 (29 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232050; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232050
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