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Paper: Instrument Modelling in Observational Astronomy
Volume: 314, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIII
Page: 481
Authors: Ballester, P.; Rosa, M.R.
Abstract: By constructing instrument models which incorporate as full as possible a knowledge of optical and detector physics, the calibration of astronomical data can be placed on a firmer footing than is currently the norm. A number of developments make it more practical today to efficiently use optical models in the whole observational process: At first, the proposer can prepare observations using model based exposure time estimators and data simulators. Second, the observatory controls the instrumental configuration, tests data analysis procedures and provides calibration solutions with the help of instrument and environment models. We show in particular how such models can be used to ease very significantly the calibration and operation of complex instruments from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope and provide a high level of homogeneity and integrity in the post-operational archives. We review the role of instrument models for observatory operations, observing, pipeline processing and data interpretation and describe the current usage of instrument modelling at the ST-ECF and ESO.
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