B. M. Swinyard

University College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (403)458.08 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: EChOSim is the end-to-end time-domain simulator of the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) space mission. EChOSim has been developed to assess the capability EChO has to detect and characterize the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets, and through this revolutionize the knowledge we have of the Milky Way and of our place in the Galaxy. Here we discuss the details of the EChOSim implementation and describe the models used to represent the instrument and to simulate the detection. Software simulators have assumed a central role in the design of new instrumentation and in assessing the level of systematics affecting the measurements of existing experiments. Thanks to its high modularity, EChOSim can simulate basic aspects of several existing and proposed spectrometers for exoplanet transits, including instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer, or ground-based and balloon borne experiments. A discussion of different uses of EChOSim is given, including examples of simulations performed to assess the EChO mission.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel SPIRE instrument consists of an imaging photometric camera and an imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), both operating over a frequency range of 450-1550 GHz. In this paper, we briefly review the FTS design, operation, and data reduction, and describe in detail the approach taken to relative calibration (removal of instrument signatures) and absolute calibration against standard astronomical sources. The calibration scheme assumes a spatially extended source and uses the Herschel telescope as primary calibrator. Conversion from extended to point-source calibration is carried out using observations of the planet Uranus. The model of the telescope emission is shown to be accurate to within 6% and repeatable to better than 0.06% and, by comparison with models of Mars and Neptune, the Uranus model is shown to be accurate to within 3%. Multiple observations of a number of point-like sources show that the repeatability of the calibration is better than 1%, if the effects of the satellite absolute pointing error (APE) are corrected. The satellite APE leads to a decrement in the derived flux, which can be up to ~10% (1 sigma) at the high-frequency end of the SPIRE range in the first part of the mission, and ~4% after Herschel operational day 1011. The lower frequency range of the SPIRE band is unaffected by this pointing error due to the larger beam size. Overall, for well-pointed, point-like sources, the absolute flux calibration is better than 6%, and for extended sources where mapping is required it is better than 7%.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2014; 440(4):3658-3674. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to measure the H2O and dust production rates in C/2006 W3 (Christensen) with the Herschel Space Observatory at a heliocentric distance of ~ 5 AU. We have searched for emission in the H2O and NH3 ground-state rotational transitions at 557 GHz and 572 GHz, simultaneously, with HIFI onboard Herschel on UT 1.5 September 2010. Photometric observations of the dust coma in the 70 and 160 {\mu}m channels were acquired with the PACS instrument on UT 26.5 August 2010. A tentative 4-{\sigma} H2O line emission feature was found in the spectra obtained with the HIFI wide-band and high-resolution spectrometers, from which we derive a water production rate of $2.0(5) \times 10^{27}$ molec. s$^{-1}$. A 3-{\sigma} upper limit for the ammonia production rate of <$1.5 \times 10^{27}$ molec. s$^{-1}$ is obtained taking into account the contribution from all hyperfine components. The blueshift of the water line detected by HIFI suggests preferential emission from the subsolar point. However, it is also possible that water sublimation occurs in small ice-bearing grains that are emitted from an active region on the nucleus surface at a speed of ~ 0.2 km s$^{-1}$. The dust thermal emission was detected in the 70 and 160 {\mu}m filters, with a more extended emission in the blue channel. The dust production rates, obtained for a dust size distribution index that explains the fluxes at the photocenters of the PACS images, lie in the range 70-110 kg s$^{-1}$. Scaling the CO production rate measured post-perihelion at 3.20 and 3.32 AU, these values correspond to a dust-to-gas production rate ratio in the range 0.3-0.4. The dust production rates derived in August 2010 are roughly one order of magnitude lower than in September 2009, suggesting that the dust-to-gas production rate ratio remained approximately constant during the period when the activity became increasingly dominated by CO outgassing.
    04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) is the closest planetary nebulae. Therefore, it is an ideal template for photochemical studies at small spatial scales in planetary nebulae. We aim to study the spatial distribution of the atomic and the molecular gas, and the structure of the photodissociation region along the western rims of the Helix Nebula as seen in the submillimeter range with Herschel. We use 5 SPIRE FTS pointing observations to make atomic and molecular spectral maps. We analyze the molecular gas by modeling the CO rotational lines using a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) radiative transfer model. For the first time, we have detected extended OH+ emission in a planetary nebula. The spectra towards the Helix Nebula also show CO emission lines (from J= 4 to 8), [NII] at 1461 GHz from ionized gas, and [CI] (2-1), which together with the OH+ lines, trace extended CO photodissociation regions along the rims. The estimated OH+ column density is (1-10)x1e12 cm-2. The CH+ (1-0) line was not detected at the sensitivity of our observations. Non-LTE models of the CO excitation were used to constrain the average gas density (n(H2)=(1-5)x1e5 cm-3) and the gas temperature (Tk= 20-40 K). The SPIRE spectral-maps suggest that CO arises from dense and shielded clumps in the western rims of the Helix Nebula whereas OH+ and [CI] lines trace the diffuse gas and the UV and X-ray illuminated clumps surface where molecules reform after CO photodissociation. [NII] traces a more diffuse ionized gas component in the interclump medium.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory EChO is a space mission concept studied by the European Space Agency in the context of the M3 selection process. Through direct measurement of the atmospheric chemical composition of hundreds of exoplanets, EChO would address fundamental questions such as: What are exoplanets made of? How do planets form and evolve? What is the origin of exoplanet diversity? More specifically, EChO is a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large, diverse and well-defined planetary sample within its four to six year mission lifetime. In this paper we use the end-to-end instrument simulator EChOSim to model the currently discovered targets, to gauge which targets are observable and assess the EChO performances obtainable for each observing tier and time. We show that EChO would be capable of observing a large and diverse sample of planets even if it were launched today, and the wealth of optimal targets for EChO expected to be discovered in the next 5 years by space and ground-based facilities is simply overwhelming. In addition, we build on previous molecular detectability studies to show what molecules and abundances will be detectable by EChO for a selection of real targets with various molecular compositions and abundances. EChO's unique contribution to exoplanetary science will be in identifying the main constituents of hundreds of exoplanets in various mass/temperature regimes, meaning that we will be looking no longer at individual cases but at populations. Such a universal view is critical if we truly want to understand the processes of planet formation and evolution in various environments. The full results are available online http://www.ucl.ac.uk/exoplanets/echotargetlist/.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results from a 19-hr integration with the SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer aboard the Herschel Space Observatory which has revealed the presence of a molecular outflow from the Cosmic Eyelash (SMM J2135-0102, hereafter SMMJ2135) via the detection of blueshifted OH absorption. Detections of several fine-structure emission lines indicate low-excitation HII regions contribute strongly to the [CII] luminosity in this z = 2.3 ULIRG. The OH feature suggests a maximum wind velocity of 700 km/s and outflow rate of ~60 Msun/yr. This is lower than the expected escape velocity of the host dark matter halo, ~1000 km/s. A large fraction of the available molecular gas could thus be converted into stars via a burst protracted by the resulting gas fountain, until an AGN-driven outflow can eject the remaining gas.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The protonated Argon ion, $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$, has been identified recently in the Crab Nebula (Barlow et al. 2013) from Herschel spectra. Given the atmospheric opacity at the frequency of its $J$=1-0 and $J$=2-1 rotational transitions (617.5 and 1234.6 GHz, respectively), and the current lack of appropriate space observatories after the recent end of the Herschel mission, future studies on this molecule will rely on mid-infrared observations. We report on accurate wavenumber measurements of $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$ and $^{38}$ArH$^{+}$ rotation-vibration transitions in the $v$=1-0 band in the range 4.1-3.7 $\mu$m (2450-2715 cm$^{-1}$). The wavenumbers of the $R$(0) transitions of the $v$=1-0 band are 2612.50135$\pm$0.00033 and 2610.70177$\pm$0.00042 cm$^{-1}$ ($\pm3\sigma$) for $^{36}$ArH$^{+}$ and $^{38}$ArH$^{+}$, respectively. The calculated opacity for a gas thermalized at a temperature of 100 K and a linewidth of 1 km.s$^{-1}$ of the $R$(0) line is $1.6\times10^{-15}\times N$($^{36}$ArH$^+$). For column densities of $^{36}$ArH$^+$ larger than $1\times 10^{13}$ cm$^{-2}$, significant absorption by the $R$(0) line can be expected against bright mid-IR sources.
    01/2014; 783(1).
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first results from a spectroscopic survey of the [CII] 158um line from a sample of intermediate redshift (0.2<z<0.8) (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies, (U)LIRGs (LIR>10^11.5 Lsun), using the SPIRE-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) on board the Herschel Space Observatory. This is the first survey of [CII] emission, an important tracer of star-formation, at a redshift range where the star-formation rate density of the Universe increases rapidly. We detect strong [CII] 158um line emission from over 80% of the sample. We find that the [CII] line is luminous, in the range (0.8-4)x10^(-3) of the far-infrared continuum luminosity of our sources, and appears to arise from photodissociation regions on the surface of molecular clouds. The L[CII]/LIR ratio in our intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs is on average ~10 times larger than that of local ULIRGs. Furthermore, we find that the L[CII]/LIR and L[CII]/LCO(1-0) ratios in our sample are similar to those of local normal galaxies and high-z star-forming galaxies. ULIRGs at z~0.5 show many similarities to the properties of local normal and high-z star forming galaxies. Our findings strongly suggest that rapid evolution in the properties of the star forming regions of luminous infrared galaxies is likely to have occurred in the last 5 billion years.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 781(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herschel/SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) observations contain emission from both the Herschel Telescope and the SPIRE Instrument itself, both of which are typically orders of magnitude greater than the emission from the astronomical source, and must be removed in order to recover the source spectrum. The effects of the Herschel Telescope and the SPIRE Instrument are removed during data reduction using relative spectral response calibration curves and emission models. We present the evolution of the methods used to derive the relative spectral response calibration curves for the SPIRE FTS. The relationship between the calibration curves and the ultimate sensitivity of calibrated SPIRE FTS data is discussed and the results from the derivation methods are compared. These comparisons show that the latest derivation methods result in calibration curves that impart a factor of between 2 and 100 less noise to the overall error budget, which results in calibrated spectra for individual observations whose noise is reduced by a factor of 2-3, with a gain in the overall spectral sensitivity of 23% and 21% for the two detector bands, respectively.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Emission from the Herschel telescope is the dominant source of radiation for the majority of SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) observations, despite the exceptionally low emissivity of the primary and secondary mirrors. Accurate modelling and removal of the telescope contribution is, therefore, an important and challenging aspect of FTS calibration and data reduction pipeline. A dust-contaminated telescope model with time invariant mirror emissivity was adopted before the Herschel launch. However, measured FTS spectra show a clear evolution of the telescope contribution over the mission and strong need for a correction to the standard telescope model in order to reduce residual background (of up to 7 Jy) in the final data products. Systematic changes in observations of dark sky, taken over the course of the mission, provide a measure of the evolution between observed telescope emission and the telescope model. These dark sky observations have been used to derive a time dependent correction to the telescope emissivity that reduces the systematic error in the continuum of the final FTS spectra to ∼0.35 Jy.
    Experimental Astronomy 01/2014; · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) of the Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver (SPIRE) on board the ESA Herschel Space Observatory has two detector setting modes: (a) a nominal mode, which is optimized for observing moderately bright to faint astronomical targets, and (b) a bright-source mode recommended for sources significantly brighter than 500 Jy, within the SPIRE FTS bandwidth of 446.7–1544 GHz (or 194–671 microns in wavelength), which employs a reduced detector responsivity and out-of-phase analog signal amplifier/demodulator. We address in detail the calibration issues unique to the bright-source mode, describe the integration of the bright-mode data processing into the existing pipeline for the nominal mode, and show that the flux calibration accuracy of the bright-source mode is generally within 2 % of that of the nominal mode, and that the bright-source mode is 3 to 4 times less sensitive than the nominal mode.
    Experimental Astronomy 01/2014; · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a method to derive the relative pointing offsets for SPIRE Fourier-Transform Spectrometer (FTS) solar system object (SSO) calibration targets, which were observed regularly throughout the Herschel mission. We construct ratios R obs(ν) of the spectra for all observations of a given source with respect to a reference. The reference observation is selected iteratively to be the one with the highest observed continuum. Assuming that any pointing offset leads to an overall shift of the continuum level, then these R obs(ν) represent the relative flux loss due to mispointing. The mispointing effects are more pronounced for a smaller beam, so we consider only the FTS short wavelength array (SSW, 958–1546 GHz) to derive a pointing correction. We obtain the relative pointing offset by comparing R obs(ν) to a grid of expected losses for a model source at different distances from the centre of the beam, under the assumption that the SSW FTS beam can be well approximated by a Gaussian. In order to avoid dependency on the point source flux conversion, which uses a particular observation of Uranus, we use extended source flux calibrated spectra to construct R obs(ν) for the SSOs. In order to account for continuum variability, due to the changing distance from the Herschel telescope, the SSO ratios are normalised by the expected model ratios for the corresponding observing epoch. We confirm the accuracy of the derived pointing offset by comparing the results with a number of control observations, where the actual pointing of Herschel is known with good precision. Using the method we derived pointing offsets for repeated observations of Uranus (including observations centred on off-axis detectors), Neptune, Ceres and NGC 7027. The results are used to validate and improve the point-source flux calibration of the FTS.
    Experimental Astronomy 01/2014; · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) performs spectral imaging in the 447-1546 GHz band. It can observe in three spatial sampling modes: sparse mode, with a single pointing on sky, or intermediate or full modes with 1 and 1/2 beam spacing, respectively. In this paper, we investigate the uncertainty and repeatability for fully sampled FTS mapping observations. The repeatability is characterised using nine observations of the Orion Bar. Metrics are derived based on the ratio of the measured intensity in each observation compared to that in the combined spectral cube from all observations. The mean relative deviation is determined to be within 2%, and the pixel-by-pixel scatter is ~7%. The scatter increases towards the edges of the maps. The uncertainty in the frequency scale is also studied, and the spread in the line centre velocity across the maps is found to be ~15 km/s. Other causes of uncertainty are also discussed including the effect of pointing and the additive uncertainty in the continuum.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) observation of the western part of Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon’s nearside made by the Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer on 10th February 2009. Through forward modelling of the X-ray spectra, we provide estimates of the MgO/SiO2 and Al2O3/SiO2 ratios for seven regions along the flare’s ground track. These results are combined with FeO and TiO2 contents derived from Clementine multispectral reflectance data in order to investigate the compositional diversity of this region of the Moon. The ground track observed consists mainly of low-Ti basaltic units, and the XRF data are largely consistent with this expectation. However, we obtain higher Al2O3/SiO2 ratios for these units than for most basalts in the Apollo sample collection. The widest compositional variation between the different lava flows is in wt% FeO content. A footprint that occurs in a predominantly highland region, immediately to the north of Oceanus Procellarum, has a composition that is consistent with mixing between low-Ti mare basaltic and more feldspathic regoliths. In contrast to some previous studies, we find no evidence for systematic differences in surface composition, as determined through X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy techniques.
    Icarus 01/2014; 229:254–262. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars lose their envelopes by means of a stellar wind whose driving mechanism is not understood well. Characterizing the composition and thermal and dynamical structure of the outflow provides constraints that are essential for understanding AGB evolution, including the rate of mass loss and isotopic ratios. Aims: We characterize the CO emission from the wind of the low mass-loss rate oxygen-rich AGB star W Hya using data obtained by the HIFI, PACS, and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel Space Observatory and ground-based telescopes. 12CO and 13CO lines are used to constrain the intrinsic 12C/13C ratio from resolved HIFI lines. Methods: We combined a state-of-the-art molecular line emission code and a dust continuum radiative transfer code to model the CO lines and the thermal dust continuum. Results: The acceleration of the outflow up to about 5.5 km s-1 is quite slow and can be represented by a β-type velocity law with index β = 5. Beyond this point, acceleration up the terminal velocity of 7 km s-1 is faster. Using the J = 10-9, 9-8, and 6-5 transitions, we find an intrinsic 12C/13C ratio of 18 ± 10 for W Hya, where the error bar is mostly due to uncertainties in the 12CO abundance and the stellar flux around 4.6 μm. To match the low-excitation CO lines, these molecules need to be photo-dissociated at ~500 stellar radii. The radial dust emission intensity profile of our stellar wind model matches PACS images at 70 μm out to 20'' (or 800 stellar radii). For larger radii the observed emission is substantially stronger than our model predicts, indicating that at these locations there is extra material present. Conclusions: The initial slow acceleration of the wind may imply inefficient dust formation or dust driving in the lower part of the envelope. The final injection of momentum in the wind might be the result of an increase in the opacity thanks to the late condensation of dust species. The derived intrinsic isotopologue ratio for W Hya is consistent with values set by the first dredge-up and suggestive of an initial mass of 2 M⊙ or more. However, the uncertainty in the isotopologic ratio is large, which makes it difficult to set reliable limits on W Hya's main-sequence mass. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 561. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Noble gas molecules have not hitherto been detected in space. From spectra obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory, we report the detection of emission in the 617.5- and 1234.6-gigahertz J = 1-0 and 2-1 rotational lines of (36)ArH(+) at several positions in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant known to contain both molecular hydrogen and regions of enhanced ionized argon emission. Argon-36 is believed to have originated from explosive nucleosynthesis in massive stars during core-collapse supernova events. Its detection in the Crab Nebula, the product of such a supernova event, confirms this expectation. The likely excitation mechanism for the observed (36)ArH(+) emission lines is electron collisions in partially ionized regions with electron densities of a few hundred per centimeter cubed.
    Science 12/2013; 342(6164):1343-1345. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the far-infrared and submillimetre molecular emission line spectrum of the luminous M-supergiant VY CMa, observed with the SPIRE and PACS spectrometers aboard the Herschel Space Observatory. Over 260 emission lines were detected in the 190-650-micron SPIRE FTS spectra, with one-third of the observed lines being attributable to H2O. Other detected species include CO, 13CO, H2^18O, SiO, HCN, SO, SO2, CS, H2S, and NH3. Our model fits to the observed 12CO and 13CO line intensities yield a 12C/13C ratio of 5.6+-1.8, consistent with measurements of this ratio for other M supergiants, but significantly lower than previously estimated for VY CMa from observations of lower-J lines. The spectral line energy distribution for twenty SiO rotational lines shows two temperature components: a hot component at 1000 K, which we attribute to the stellar atmosphere and inner wind, plus a cooler ~200 K component, which we attribute to an origin in the outer circumstellar envelope. We fit the line fluxes of 12CO, 13CO, H2O and SiO, using the SMMOL non-LTE line transfer code, with a mass-loss rate of 1.85x10^-4 Msun yr^-1 between 9 R* and 350 R*. To fit the observed line fluxes of 12CO, 13CO, H2O and SiO with SMMOL non-LTE line radiative transfer code, along with a mass-loss rate of 1.85x10^-4 Msun yr^-1. To fit the high rotational lines of CO and H2O, the model required a rather flat temperature distribution inside the dust condensation radius, attributed to the high H2O opacity. Beyond the dust condensation radius the gas temperature is fitted best by an r^-0.5 radial dependence, consistent with the coolant lines becoming optically thin. Our H2O emission line fits are consistent with an ortho:para ratio of 3 in the outflow.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 437(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of the Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Project MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) we have imaged a sample of planetary nebulae. In this paper we present the PACS and SPIRE images of the classical bipolar planetary nebula NGC 650. We used these images to derive a temperature map of the dust. We also constructed a photoionization and dust radiative transfer model using the spectral synthesis code Cloudy. To constrain this model, we used the PACS and SPIRE fluxes and combined these with hitherto unpublished IUE and Spitzer IRS spectra as well as various other data from the literature. The temperature map combined with the photoionization model were used to study various aspects of the central star, the nebula, and in particular the dust grains in the nebula. The central star parameters are determined to be T_eff = 208 kK and L = 261 L_sol assuming a distance of 1200 pc. The stellar temperature is much higher than previously published values. We confirm that the nebula is carbon-rich with a C/O ratio of 2.1. The nebular abundances are typical for a type IIa planetary nebula. With the photoionization model we determined that the grains in the ionized nebula are large (assuming single-sized grains, they would have a radius of 0.15 micron. Most likely these large grains were inherited from the asymptotic giant branch phase. The PACS 70/160 micron temperature map shows evidence for two radiation components heating the grains. The first component is direct emission from the central star, while the second component is diffuse emission from the ionized gas (mainly Ly alpha). We show that previous suggestions that there is a photo-dissociation region surrounding the ionized region are incorrect. The neutral material resides in dense clumps inside the ionized region. These may also harbor stochastically heated very small grains in addition to the large grains.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photometric instruments operating at far infrared to millimetre wavelengths often have broad spectral passbands (central wavelength/bandwidth ~ 3 or less), especially those operating in space. A broad passband can result in significant variation of the beam profile and aperture efficiency across the passband, effects which thus far have not generally been taken into account in the flux calibration of such instruments. With absolute calibration uncertainties associated with the brightness of primary calibration standards now in the region of 5% or less, variation of the beam properties across the passband can be a significant contributor to the overall calibration accuracy for extended emission. We present a calibration framework which takes such variations into account for both antenna-coupled and absorber-coupled focal plane architectures. The scheme covers point source and extended source cases, and also the intermediate case of a semi-extended source profile. We apply the new method to the Herschel-SPIRE space-borne photometer.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; 434(2):992-1004. · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
458.08 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2014
    • University College London
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • University of Leuven
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2008
    • Imperial College London
      • Department of Physics
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • Observatoire de Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2004
    • The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2001–2003
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2003
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1999
    • University of Saskatchewan
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada