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6 June 2019 PhoSim-NIRCam: photon-by-photon image simulations of the James Webb Space Telescope’s near-infrared camera
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Abstract
Recent instrumentation projects have allocated resources to develop codes for simulating astronomical images. Physics-based models are essential for understanding telescope, instrument, and environmental systematics in observations. A deep understanding of these systematics is especially important in the context of weak gravitational lensing, galaxy morphology, and other sensitive measurements. We present an adaptation of a physics-based ab initio image simulator: the photon simulator (PhoSim). We modify PhoSim for use with the near-infrared camera (NIRCam)—the primary imaging instrument aboard the James Webb Space Telescope. This photon Monte Carlo code replicates the observational catalog, telescope and camera optics, detector physics, and readout modes/electronics. Importantly, PhoSim-NIRCam simulates both geometric aberration and diffraction across the field of view. Full field- and wavelength-dependent point spread functions are presented. Simulated images of an extragalactic field are presented. Extensive validation is planned during in-orbit commissioning.
© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4124/2019/$28.00 © 2019 SPIE
Colin J. Burke, John R. Peterson, Eiichi Egami, Jarron M. Leisenring, Glenn H. Sembroski, and Marcia J. Rieke "PhoSim-NIRCam: photon-by-photon image simulations of the James Webb Space Telescope’s near-infrared camera," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 5(3), 038002 (6 June 2019). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.5.3.038002
Received: 14 January 2019; Accepted: 15 May 2019; Published: 6 June 2019
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