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B.R. Granett, K.C. Chambers, E. Magnier (Institute for Astronomy)
Photometric performance is limited by systematic errors introduced by line absorption and emission in Earth's atmosphere. Precision photometry required for campaigns including the characterization of supernovae and photometric redshifts can especially benefit from a priori knowledge of the high resolution atmospheric transmission function.
Pan-STARRS will operate two auxiliary instruments to measure the atmospheric transmission function in real time: the Spectroscopic and Imaging Sky Probes. The instruments will act in synchrony with the survey camera to provide calibration data for the Photometric Pipeline. The Imaging Sky Probe (ISP) will measure the broad band transparency in 5 survey bands. Simultaneously, the Spectroscopic Sky Probe (SSP) will measure the absorption and emission functions in moderate resolution. Transmission models generated with MODTRANS will be incorporated to produce a best fit, high resolution characterization of the atmosphere at the time of observation. Armed with measurements of the atmospheric transmission from the Sky Probe instruments, the Pan-STARRS Photometric Pipeline can precisely solve for the intrinsic source photometry. Such a system is unprecedented, and Pan-STARRS will act as the test-bed. Over the lifetime of Pan-STARRS, the system will generate science products including the bright star spectra catalog and an all-sky survey sensitive to low surface brightness.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.