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Proceedings Paper

Kepler instrument performance: an in-flight update
Author(s): Douglas A. Caldwell; Jeffrey E. Van Cleve; Jon M. Jenkins; Vic S. Argabright; Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak; Edward W. Dunham; John C. Geary; Peter Tenenbaum; Hema Chandrasekaran; Jie Li; Hayley Wu; Jason Von Wilpert
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Paper Abstract

The Kepler Mission is designed to detect the 80 parts per million (ppm) signal from an Earth-Sun equivalent transit. Such precision requires superb instrument stability on time scales up to 2 days and systematic error removal to better than 20 ppm. The sole scientific instrument is the Photometer, a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt telescope that feeds the 94.6 million pixel CCD detector array, which contains both Science and Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) CCDs. Since Kepler's launch in March 2009, we have been using the commissioning and science operations data to characterize the instrument and monitor its performance. We find that the in-flight detector properties of the focal plane, including bias levels, read noise, gain, linearity, saturation, FGS to Science crosstalk, and video crosstalk between Science CCDs, are essentially unchanged from their pre-launch values. Kepler's unprecedented sensitivity and stability in space have allowed us to measure both short- and long- term effects from cosmic rays, see interactions of previously known image artifacts with starlight, and uncover several unexpected systematics that affect photometric precision. Based on these results, we expect to attain Kepler's planned photometric precision over 90% of the field of view.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 773117 (6 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856638
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas A. Caldwell, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Jeffrey E. Van Cleve, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Jon M. Jenkins, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Vic S. Argabright, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Edward W. Dunham, Lowell Observatory (United States)
John C. Geary, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Peter Tenenbaum, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Hema Chandrasekaran, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Jie Li, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Hayley Wu, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Jason Von Wilpert, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7731:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mark C. Clampin; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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