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Paper: Caltrans Keeps the Spitzer Pipelines Moving
Volume: 347, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV
Page: 594
Authors: Lee, W.; Laher, R.; Fowler, J.W.; Masci, F.J.; Moshir, M.
Abstract: The computer pipelines used to process digital infrared astronomical images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope require various input calibration-data files for characterizing the attributes and behaviors of the onboard focal-plane-arrays and their detector pixels, such as operability, darkcurrent offset, linearity, non-uniformity, muxbleed, droop, and point-response functions. The telescope has three very different science instruments, each with three or four spectral-band-pass channels, depending on the instrument. Moreover, each instrument has various operating modes (e.g., full array or sub-array in one case) and parameters (e.g., integration time). Calibration data that depend on these considerations are needed by pipelines for generating both science products (production pipelines) and higher-level calibration products (calibration pipelines). The calibration files are created in various formats either “off- line” or by the aforementioned calibration pipelines, depending on the above configuration details. Also, the calibration files are generally applicable to a certain time period and therefore must be selected accordingly for a given raw input image to be correctly processed. All of this complexity in selecting and retrieving calibration files for pipeline processing is handled by a procedural software program called “caltrans”. This software, which is implemented in C and interacts with an Informix database, was developed at the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) and is now deployed in SSC daily operations. The software is rule-based, very flexible, and, for efficiency, capable of retrieving multiple calibration files with a single software-execution command.
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