NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

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JWST Community Lecture Series - Pandeia: The JWST Exposure Time Calculator (K. Pontoppidan)

Community Lecture
January 17, 2017 11:00 AM EST - January 17, 2017  12:00 PM EST
Baltimore STScI Muller Boardroom

STScI just released the flight version of the Exposure Time Calculator for the James Webb Space Telescope. The ETC is based on a code called Pandeia. It includes a Python engine, which models astronomical scenes in three dimensions and simulates two-dimensional pixel-by-pixel signal and noise properties of the JWST instruments. This allows for appropriate handling of realistic point spread functions, MULTIACCUM detector readouts, correlated detector readnoise, and multiple photometric and spectral extraction strategies. Pandeia includes support for all the JWST observing modes, including imaging, slitted/slitless spectroscopy, integral field spectroscopy, and coronagraphy. Its highly modular, data-driven design makes it easily adaptable to other observatories. The ETC engine is accessed via a modern web application, which allows for detailed parameter studies, collaborative workflows and visualizations of results. It also uses a position- and time-dependent background model, developed specifically for JWST. I will describe all these aspects of the the JWST ETC, and discuss how it can best be used to plan JWST observations.