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Proceedings Paper

Wavelength calibration sources for the near infrared arm of X-shooter
Author(s): Florian Kerber; Francesco Saitta; Paul Bristow; Joel Vernet
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Paper Abstract

We have studied the properties of wavelength calibration sources for the near-IR (NIR: 1000-2500 nm) arm of X-shooter. In a novel approach we are combining laboratory measurements from a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) and literature data with corresponding simulated data derived from a physical model of X-shooter. The sources studied are pen ray lamps filled with the noble gases Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe and Th-Ar hollow cathode lamps. As a product we provide a quantitative order by order analysis of the expected properties of the calibration lamps during X-shooter operations. The analysis accounts for blending of lines and makes realistic assumptions about the dynamic range available in a typical wavelength calibration exposure. Based on our study we recommend the use of Ne, Kr, and Ar as the best three lamp combination for X-shooter calibration. A detailed comparison between the predicted and actual performance of the calibration system has been started as part of the X-shooter testing and validation phase and first results are very promising. To our knowledge this is the first time that such a detailed and quantitative analysis of a calibration system has been done prior to the operation of the instrument. The combination of laboratory measurements and instrument modeling provides a powerful tool for future instrument development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70143Y (11 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787299
Show Author Affiliations
Florian Kerber, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Francesco Saitta, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Paul Bristow, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Joel Vernet, European Southern Observatory (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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