Posts Tagged field imager

Recent Postings from field imager

The Hot and Energetic Universe: The Wide Field Imager (WFI) for Athena+

The Wide Field Imager (WFI) is one of the two scientific instruments proposed for the Athena+ X-ray observatory. It will provide imaging in the 0.1-15 keV band over a wide field, simultaneously with spectrally and time-resolved photon counting. The instrument is designed to make optimal use of the grasp (collecting area times solid angle product) provided by the optical design of the Athena+ mirror system (Willingale et al. 2013), by combining a sensitive approx. 40′ diameter field of view (baseline; 50′ goal) DEPFET detector with a pixel size properly sampling the angular resolution of 5 arc sec on-axis (half energy width).This synthesis makes the WFI a very powerful survey instrument, significantly surpassing currently existing capabilities (Nandra et al. 2013; Aird et al. 2013). In addition, the WFI will provide unprecedented simultaneous high-time resolution and high count rate capabilities for the observation of bright sources with low pile-up and high efficiency. In this paper, we summarize the instrument design, the status of the technology development, and the baseline performance.

The Hot and Energetic Universe: The X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) for Athena+

The Athena+ mission concept is designed to implement the Hot and Energetic Universe science theme submitted to the European Space Agency in response to the call for White Papers for the definition of the L2 and L3 missions of its science program. The Athena+ science payload consists of a large aperture high angular resolution X-ray optics and twelve meters away, two interchangeable focal plane instruments: the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) and the Wide Field Imager (WFI). The X-IFU is a cryogenic X-ray spectrometer, based on a large array of Transition Edge Sensors (TES), offering 2.5 eV spectral resolution, with ~5" pixels, over a field of view of 5 arc minutes in diameter. In this paper, we briefly describe the Athena+ mission concept and the X-IFU performance requirements. We then present the X-IFU detector and readout electronics principles, the current design of the focal plane assembly, the cooling chain and review the global architecture design. Finally, we describe the current performance estimates, in terms of effective area, particle background rejection, count rate capability and velocity measurements. Finally, we emphasize on the latest technology developments concerning TES array fabrication, spectral resolution and readout performance achieved to show that significant progresses are being accomplished towards the demanding X-IFU requirements.

Space based microlensing planet searches

The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: "Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes". They also add: "This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters". We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020-2025.

(Sn)DICE: A Calibration System Designed for Wide Field Imagers

Dark Energy studies with type Ia supernovae set very tight constraints on the photometric calibration of the imagers used to detect the supernovae and follow up their flux variations. Among the key challenges is the measurement of the shape and normalization of the instrumental throughput. The DICE system was developed by members of the Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS), building upon the lessons learnt working with the MegaCam imager. It consists in a very stable light source, placed in the telescope enclosure, and generating compact, conical beams, yielding an almost flat illumination of the imager focal plane. The calibration light is generated by narrow spectrum LEDs selected to cover the entire wavelength range of the imager. It is monitored in real time using control photodiodes. A first DICE demonstrator, SnDICE has been installed at CFHT. A second generation instrument (SkyDICE) has been installed in the enclosure of the SkyMapper telescope. We present the main goals of the project. We discuss the main difficulties encountered when trying to calibrate a wide field imager, such as MegaCam (or SkyMapper) using such a calibrated light source.

Candidate stellar occultations by large trans-neptunian objects up to 2015

We study large trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) using stellar occultations. We derive precise astrometric predictions for stellar occultations by Eris, Haumea, Ixion, Makemake, Orcus, Quaoar, Sedna, Varuna, 2002 TX300, and 2003 AZ84 for 2011-2015. We construct local astrometric catalogs of stars in the UCAC2 (Second US Naval Observatory CCD Astrograph Catalog) frame covering the sky path of these objects. For that purpose, during 2007-2009, we carried out an observational program at the ESO2p2/WFI (2.2 m Max-Planck ESO telescope with the Wide Field Imager) instrument. Astrometric catalogs with proper motions were produced for each TNO, containing more than 5.35 million stars covering the sky paths with 30′ width in declination. The magnitude completeness is about R = 19 with a limit of about R = 21. We predicted 2717 stellar occultation candidates for all targets. Ephemeris offsets with about from 50 mas to 100 mas precision were applied to each TNO orbit to improve the predictions. They were obtained during 2007-2010 from a parallel observational campaign carried out with from 0.6 m to 2.2 m in size telescopes. This extends our previous work for the Pluto system to large TNOs, using the same observational and astrometric procedures. The obtained astrometric catalogs are useful for follow-up programs at small to large telescopes used to improve the candidate star positions and TNO ephemeris. They also furnish valuable photometric information for the field stars. For each TNO, updates on the ephemeris offsets and candidate star positions (geometric conditions of predictions and finding charts) are made available in the web by the group.

The Astro-WISE

We present a novel approach to quality control during the processing of astronomical data. Quality control in the Astro-WISE Information System is integral to all aspects of data handing and provides transparent access to quality estimators for all stages of data reduction from the raw image to the final catalog. The implementation of quality control mechanisms relies on the core features in this Astro-WISE Environment (AWE): an object-oriented framework, full data lineage, and both forward and backward chaining. Quality control information can be accessed via the command-line awe-prompt and the web-based Quality-WISE service. The quality control system is described and qualified using archive data from the 8-CCD Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument (http://www.eso.org/lasilla/instruments/wfi/) on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla and (pre-)survey data from the 32-CCD OmegaCAM instrument (http://www.astro-wise.org/~omegacam/) on the VST telescope at Paranal.

The Astro-WISE approach to quality control for astronomical data [Replacement]

We present a novel approach to quality control during the processing of astronomical data. Quality control in the Astro-WISE Information System is integral to all aspects of data handing and provides transparent access to quality estimators for all stages of data reduction from the raw image to the final catalog. The implementation of quality control mechanisms relies on the core features in this Astro-WISE Environment (AWE): an object-oriented framework, full data lineage, and both forward and backward chaining. Quality control information can be accessed via the command-line awe-prompt and the web-based Quality-WISE service. The quality control system is described and qualified using archive data from the 8-CCD Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument (http://www.eso.org/lasilla/instruments/wfi/) on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla and (pre-)survey data from the 32-CCD OmegaCAM instrument (http://www.astro-wise.org/~omegacam/) on the VST telescope at Paranal.

A binary engine fuelling HD87643' s complex circumstellar environment, using AMBER/VLTI

Context. The star HD 87643, exhibiting the ?B[e] phenomenon?, has one of the most extreme infrared excesses for this object class. It harbours a large amount of both hot and cold dust, and is surrounded by an extended re?ection nebula. Aims. One of our major goals was to investigate the presence of a companion in HD87643. In addition, the presence of close dusty material was tested through a combination of multi-wavelength high spatial resolution observations. Methods. We observed HD 87643 with high spatial resolution techniques, using the near-IR AMBER/VLTI interferometer with baselines ranging from 60 m to 130 m and the mid-IR MIDI/VLTI interferometer with baselines ranging from 25 m to 65 m. These observations are complemented by NACO/VLT adaptive-optics-corrected images in the K and L-bands, ESO-2.2m optical Wide-Field Imager large-scale images in the B, V and R-bands, Results. We report the direct detection of a companion to HD 87643 by means of image synthesis using the AMBER/VLTI instrument. The presence of the companion is con?rmed by the MIDI and NACO data, although with a lower con?dence. The companion is separated by ? 34 mas with a roughly north-south orientation. The period must be large (several tens of years) and hence the orbital parameters are not determined yet. Binarity with high eccentricity might be the key to interpreting the extreme characteristics of this system, namely a dusty circumstellar envelope around the primary, a compact dust nebulosity around the binary system and a complex extended nebula witnessing past violent ejections.

Rotational studies in the Orion Nebula Cluster: from solar mass stars to brown dwarfs

Rotational studies at a variety of ages and masses are important for constraining the angular momentum evolution of young stellar objects (YSO). Of particular interest are the very low mass (VLM) stars and brown dwarfs (BDs), because of the significant lack of known rotational periods in that mass range. We provide for the first time information on rotational periods for a large sample of young VLM stars and BDs. This extensive rotational period study in the 1 Myr old Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) is based on a deep photometric monitoring campaign using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera on the ESO/MPG 2.2m telescope on La Silla, Chile. Accurate I-band photometry of 2908 stars was obtained, extending three magnitudes deeper than previous studies in the ONC. We found 487 periodic variables with estimated masses between 0.5 Msun and 0.015 Msun, 124 of which are BD candidates. This is by far the most extensive and complete rotational period data set for young VLM stars and BDs. In addition, 808 objects show non-periodic brightness variations. We study the dependence of the period distribution on mass and variability level and compare this with known higher mass objects in the ONC (Herbst et al. 2002) and with the 2 Myr old cluster NGC 2264 (Lamm et al., 2004). We find that substellar objects rotate on average faster than the VLM stars. Our rotational data also suggest a dependence of the rotational periods on position within the field, which can be explained by a possible age spread in the ONC. In addition, periodic variables with larger peak-to-peak amplitudes rotate on average slower than those with small peak-to-peak amplitude variations, which can possibly be explained by different magnetic field topologies.

A Deep XMM-Newton Serendipitous Survey of a middle-latitude area. II. New deeper X-ray and optical observations

The radio-quiet neutron star 1E1207.4-5209 has been the target of several XMM-Newton observations, with a total exposure of ~350 ks. The source is located at intermediate galactic latitude (b~10 degrees), i.e. in a sky region with an extremely interesting mix of both galactic and extra-galactic X-ray sources. The aim of our work is to investigate the properties of both the intermediate-latitude galactic and extra-galactic X-ray source populations in the 1E1207.4-5209 field. We performed a coherent analysis of the whole XMM-Newton observation data set to build a catalogue of serendipitous X-ray sources detected with high confidence and to derive information on the source flux, spectra, and time variability. In addition, we performed a complete multi-band (UBVRI) optical coverage of the field with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) of the ESO/MPG 2.2m telescope (La Silla) to search for candidate optical counterparts to the X-ray sources, down to a V-band limiting magnitude of ~24.5. We detected a total of 144 serendipitous X-ray sources. Thanks to the refined X-ray positions and to the WFI observations, we found candidate optical counterparts for most of the X-ray sources in our compilation. For most of the brightest ones we proposed a likely classification based on both the X-ray spectra and the optical colours. Our results indicate that at intermediate galactic latitude the X-ray source population is dominated by the extra-galactic component, but with a significant contribution from the galactic component in the soft energy band, below 2 keV.

 

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