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Session 18 - STIS.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Exhibit Hall,

[18.06] Tools for Planning Observations with STIS

J. Wilson, E. K. Kinney, K. C. Sahu, W. J. Hack (STScI)

THE STIS group at STScI provides a quartet of web accessible software routines to aid observers in preparation of their STIS proposals. The first pair of tools, the spectroscopic and imaging ETCs (exposure time calculato rs), enable the observer to easily and quickly determine the S/N ratio, exposure time and integrated countrate for a selected STIS observing mode. The ETCs are accessible through an HTML interface that is woven onto scripted IRAF tasks and C routines--the calculation engine for the ETCs are a collection of tasks in the SYNPHOT package of STSDAS. Using these tools the observer can compare many observing modes to determine which combination of aperture, filter, grating, detector and exposure time best yields the desired throughput, resolution, wavelength range and S/N without saturating the CCD or violating the MAMA bright object protection limits--without calculating anything by hand. The second pair of tools in the toolbox are the Target Acquisition Simulator and ETC. These tools allow for planning a robust and safe acquisition with STIS. This collection of tools permit the STIS observer to fully exploit the capabilities of the instrument while staying within the functional limits of STIS.

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