14 September 2016 SOFIA tracking image simulation
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Abstract
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) tracking camera simulator is a component of the Telescope Assembly Simulator (TASim). TASim is a software simulation of the telescope optics, mounting, and control software. Currently in its fifth major version, TASim is relied upon for telescope operator training, mission planning and rehearsal, and mission control and science instrument software development and testing. TASim has recently been extended for hardware-in-the-loop operation in support of telescope and camera hardware development and control and tracking software improvements. All three SOFIA optical tracking cameras are simulated, including the Focal Plane Imager (FPI), which has recently been upgraded to the status of a science instrument that can be used on its own or in parallel with one of the seven infrared science instruments. The simulation includes tracking camera image simulation of starfields based on the UCAC4 catalog at real-time rates of 4-20 frames per second. For its role in training and planning, it is important for the tracker image simulation to provide images with a realistic appearance and response to changes in operating parameters. For its role in tracker software improvements, it is vital to have realistic signal and noise levels and precise star positions. The design of the software simulation for precise subpixel starfield rendering (including radial distortion), realistic point-spread function as a function of focus, tilt, and collimation, and streaking due to telescope motion will be described. The calibration of the simulation for light sensitivity, dark and bias signal, and noise will also be presented
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Charles R. Taylor, Michael A. K. Gross, "SOFIA tracking image simulation", Proc. SPIE 9973, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXIV, 99730K (14 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2236431; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236431
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