A. Rasmussen

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States

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Publications (83)86.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present a comprehensive methodology for the simulation of astronomical images from optical survey telescopes. We use a photon Monte Carlo approach to construct images by sampling photons from models of astronomical source populations, and then simulating those photons through the system as they interact with the atmosphere, telescope, and camera. We demonstrate that all physical effects for optical light that determine the shapes, locations, and brightnesses of individual stars and galaxies can be accurately represented in this formalism. By using large scale grid computing, modern processors, and an efficient implementation that can produce 400,000 photons/second, we demonstrate that even very large optical surveys can be now be simulated. We demonstrate that we are able to: 1) construct kilometer scale phase screens necessary for wide-field telescopes, 2) reproduce atmospheric point-spread-function moments using a fast novel hybrid geometric/Fourier technique for non-diffraction limited telescopes, 3) accurately reproduce the expected spot diagrams for complex aspheric optical designs, and 4) recover system effective area predicted from analytic photometry integrals. This new code, the photon simulator (PhoSim), is publicly available. We have implemented the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) design, and it can be extended to other telescopes. We expect that because of the comprehensive physics implemented in PhoSim, it will be used by the community to plan future observations, interpret detailed existing observations, and quantify systematics related to various astronomical measurements. Future development and validation by comparisons with real data will continue to improve the fidelity and usability of the code.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 04/2015; 218(1). DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/218/1/14 · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    Andrew Rasmussen
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    ABSTRACT: We build on previous efforts to model CCD sensors, during illumination and collection of conversions. We use a finite summation of simple, electrostatic field models. The upgraded functionality of our framework provides specific predictions for perturbations in pixel boundary enclosures (e.g., at the backside window) and the bookkeeping capability to stack those perturbations so that they may be utilized as Greens functions -- portable calculation results that may be generically applied to a range of precision astronomy related problems that naturally including astrometric, photometric and shape transfer issues. We approach the topic of using ancillary pixel data, derived from the Greens function and the registered image, to analyze sky data and constrain object parameters of astronomical targets.
    Journal of Instrumentation 02/2015; 10(05). DOI:10.1088/1748-0221/10/05/C05028 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The LSST Camera science sensor array will incorporate 189 large format Charge Coupled Device (CCD) image sensors. Each CCD will include over 16 million pixels and will be divided into 16 equally sized segments and each segment will be read through a separate output amplifier. The science goals of the project require CCD sensors with state of the art performance in many aspects. The broad survey wavelength coverage requires fully depleted, 100 micrometer thick, high resistivity, bulk silicon as the imager substrate. Image quality requirements place strict limits on the image degradation that may be caused by sensor effects: optical, electronic, and mechanical. In this paper we discuss the design of the prototype sensors, the hardware and software that has been used to perform electro-optic testing of the sensors, and a selection of the results of the testing to date. The architectural features that lead to internal electrostatic fields, the various effects on charge collection and transport that are caused by them, including charge diffusion and redistribution, effects on delivered PSF, and potential impacts on delivered science data quality are addressed.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: The LSST will, over a 10-year period, produce a multi-color, multi-epoch survey of more than 18000 square degrees of the southern sky. It will generate a multi-petabyte archive of images and catalogs of astrophysical sources from which a wide variety of high-precision statistical studies can be undertaken. To accomplish these goals, the LSST project has developed a suite of modeling and simulation tools for use in validating that the design and the as-delivered components of the LSST system will yield data products with the required statistical properties. In this paper we describe the development, and use of the LSST simulation framework, including the generation of simulated catalogs and images for targeted trade studies, simulations of the observing cadence of the LSST, the creation of large-scale simulations that test the procedures for data calibration, and use of end-to-end image simulations to evaluate the performance of the system as a whole.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Near-future astronomical survey experiments, such as LSST, possess system requirements of unprecedented fidelity that span photometry, astrometry and shape transfer. Some of these requirements flow directly to the array of science imaging sensors at the focal plane. Availability of high quality characterization data acquired in the course of our sensor development program has given us an opportunity to develop and test a framework for simulation and modeling that is based on a limited set of physical and geometric effects. In this paper we describe those models, provide quantitative comparisons between data and modeled response, and extrapolate the response model to predict imaging array response to astronomical exposure. The emergent picture departs from the notion of a fixed, rectilinear grid that maps photo-conversions to the potential well of the channel. In place of that, we have a situation where structures from device fabrication, local silicon bulk resistivity variations and photo-converted carrier patterns still accumulating at the channel, together influence and distort positions within the photosensitive volume that map to pixel boundaries. Strategies for efficient extraction of modeling parameters from routinely acquired characterization data are described. Methods for high fidelity illumination/image distribution parameter retrieval, in the presence of such distortions, are also discussed.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 07/2014; DOI:10.1117/12.2057411 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    Andrew Rasmussen
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the drift field in thick depleted silicon sensors as a superposition of a one-dimensional backdrop field and various three-dimensional perturbative contributions that are physically motivated. We compute trajectories for the conversions along the field lines toward the channel and into volumes where conversions are confined by the perturbative fields. We validate this approach by comparing predictions against measured response distributions seen in five types of fixed pattern distortion features. We derive a quantitative connection between "tree ring" flat field distortions to astrometric and shape transfer errors with connections to measurable wavelength dependence - as ancillary pixel data that may be used in pipeline analysis for catalog population. Such corrections may be tested on DECam data, where correlations between tree ring flat field distortions and astrometric errors - together with their band dependence - are already under study. Dynamic effects, including the brighter-fatter phenomenon for point sources and the flux dependence of flat field fixed pattern features are approached using perturbations similar in form to those giving rise to the fixed pattern features. These in turn provide drift coefficient predictions that can be validated in a straightforward manner. Once the three parameters of the model are constrained using available data, the model is readily used to provide predictions for arbitrary photo-distributions with internally consistent wavelength dependence provided for free.
    Journal of Instrumentation 03/2014; 9(04). DOI:10.1088/1748-0221/9/04/C04027 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The statistics of peak counts in reconstructed shear maps contain information beyond the power spectrum, and can improve cosmological constraints from measurements of the power spectrum alone if systematic errors can be controlled. We study the effect of galaxy shape measurement errors on predicted cosmological constraints from the statistics of shear peak counts with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). We use the LSST image simulator in combination with cosmological N-body simulations to model realistic shear maps for different cosmological models. We include both galaxy shape noise and, for the first time, measurement errors on galaxy shapes. We find that the measurement errors considered have relatively little impact on the constraining power of shear peak counts for LSST.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2013; 774(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/774/1/49 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complete 10-yr survey from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will image ˜20 000 deg2 of the sky in six filter bands every few nights, bringing the final survey depth to r ˜ 27.5, with over four billion well-measured galaxies. To take full advantage of this unprecedented statistical power, the systematic errors associated with weak lensing measurements need to be controlled to a level similar to the statistical errors. This work is the first attempt to quantitatively estimate the absolute level and statistical properties of the systematic errors on weak lensing shear measurements due to the most important physical effects in the LSST system via high-fidelity ray-tracing simulations. We identify and isolate the different sources of algorithm-independent, additive systematic errors on shear measurements for LSST and predict their impact on the final cosmic shear measurements using conventional weak lensing analysis techniques. We find that the main source of the errors comes from an inability to adequately characterize the atmospheric point spread function due to its high-frequency spatial variation on angular scales smaller than ˜10 arcmin in the single short exposures, which propagates into a spurious shear correlation function at the 10-4-10-3 level on these scales. With the large multi-epoch data set that will be acquired by LSST, the stochastic errors average out, bringing the final spurious shear correlation function to a level very close to the statistical errors. Our results imply that the cosmological constraints from LSST will not be severely limited by these algorithm-independent, additive systematic effects.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 01/2013; 428(3):2695-2713. DOI:10.1093/mnras/sts223 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This white paper describes the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC), whose goal is the study of dark energy and related topics in fundamental physics with data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). It provides an overview of dark energy science and describes the current and anticipated state of the field. It makes the case for the DESC by laying out a robust analytical framework for dark energy science that has been defined by its members and the comprehensive three-year work plan they have developed for implementing that framework. The analysis working groups cover five key probes of dark energy: weak lensing, large scale structure, galaxy clusters, Type Ia supernovae, and strong lensing. The computing working groups span cosmological simulations, galaxy catalogs, photon simulations and a systematic software and computational framework for LSST dark energy data analysis. The technical working groups make the connection between dark energy science and the LSST system. The working groups have close linkages, especially through the use of the photon simulations to study the impact of instrument design and survey strategy on analysis methodology and cosmological parameter estimation. The white paper describes several high priority tasks identified by each of the 16 working groups. Over the next three years these tasks will help prepare for LSST analysis, make synergistic connections with ongoing cosmological surveys and provide the dark energy community with state of the art analysis tools. Members of the community are invited to join the LSST DESC, according to the membership policies described in the white paper. Applications to sign up for associate membership may be made by submitting the Web form at http://www.slac.stanford.edu/exp/lsst/desc/signup.html with a short statement of the work they wish to pursue that is relevant to the LSST DESC.
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    ABSTRACT: ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to identify the physical conditions of all abundant elements between C and Ni to red-shifts of z = 10, and beyond. The mission will answer questions such as: When were the first metals created? How does the cosmic metal content evolve? Where do most of the metals reside in the Universe? What is the role of metals in structure formation and evolution? To reach out to the early Universe ORIGIN will use Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) to study their local environments in their host galaxies. This requires the capability to slew the satellite in less than a minute to the GRB location. By studying the chemical composition and properties of clusters of galaxies we can extend the range of exploration to lower redshifts (z ∼0.2). For this task we need a high-resolution spectral imaging instrument with a large field of view. Using the same instrument, we can also study the so far only partially detected baryons in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM). The less dense part of the WHIM will be studied using absorption lines at low redshift in the spectra for GRBs. The ORIGIN mission includes a Transient Event Detector (coded mask with a sensitivity of 0.4 photon/cm2/s in 10s in the 5–150keV band) to identify and localize 2000GRBs over a five year mission, of which ∼65GRBs have a redshift >7. The Cryogenic Imaging Spectrometer, with a spectral resolution of 2.5eV, a field of view of 30arcmin and large effective area below 1keV has the sensitivity to study clusters up to a significant fraction of the virial radius and to map the denser parts of the WHIM (factor 30 higher than achievable with current instruments). The payload is complemented by a Burst InfraRed Telescope to enable onboard red-shift determination of GRBs (hence securing proper follow up of high-z bursts) and also probes the mildly ionized state of the gas. Fast repointing is achieved by a dedicated Controlled Momentum Gyro and a low background is achieved by the selected low Earth orbit. KeywordsX-ray–Mission–Gamma-ray bursts–Clusters of galaxies–Warm-hot intergalactic medium–Chemical evolution
    Experimental Astronomy 10/2012; 34(2):1-31. DOI:10.1007/s10686-011-9224-7 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) requires a camera system of unprecedented size and complexity. Achieving the science goals of the LSST project, through design, fabrication, integration, and operation, requires a thorough understanding of the camera performance. Essential to this effort is the camera modeling which defines the effects of a large number of potential mechanical, optical, electronic or sensor variations which can only be captured with sophisticated instrument modeling that incorporates all of the crucial parameters. This paper presents the ongoing development of LSST camera instrument modeling and details the parametric issues and attendant analysis involved with this modeling.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 09/2012; DOI:10.1117/12.926611 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complete 10-year survey from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will image $\sim$ 20,000 square degrees of sky in six filter bands every few nights, bringing the final survey depth to $r\sim27.5$, with over 4 billion well measured galaxies. To take full advantage of this unprecedented statistical power, the systematic errors associated with weak lensing measurements need to be controlled to a level similar to the statistical errors. This work is the first attempt to quantitatively estimate the absolute level and statistical properties of the systematic errors on weak lensing shear measurements due to the most important physical effects in the LSST system via high fidelity ray-tracing simulations. We identify and isolate the different sources of algorithm-independent, \textit{additive} systematic errors on shear measurements for LSST and predict their impact on the final cosmic shear measurements using conventional weak lensing analysis techniques. We find that the main source of the errors comes from an inability to adequately characterise the atmospheric point spread function (PSF) due to its high frequency spatial variation on angular scales smaller than $\sim10'$ in the single short exposures, which propagates into a spurious shear correlation function at the $10^{-4}$--$10^{-3}$ level on these scales. With the large multi-epoch dataset that will be acquired by LSST, the stochastic errors average out, bringing the final spurious shear correlation function to a level very close to the statistical errors. Our results imply that the cosmological constraints from LSST will not be severely limited by these algorithm-independent, additive systematic effects.
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    ABSTRACT: A main science goal for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is to measure the cosmic shear signal from weak lensing to extreme accuracy. One difficulty, however, is that with the short exposure time ($\simeq$15 seconds) proposed, the spatial variation of the Point Spread Function (PSF) shapes may be dominated by the atmosphere, in addition to optics errors. While optics errors mainly cause the PSF to vary on angular scales similar or larger than a single CCD sensor, the atmosphere generates stochastic structures on a wide range of angular scales. It thus becomes a challenge to infer the multi-scale, complex atmospheric PSF patterns by interpolating the sparsely sampled stars in the field. In this paper we present a new method, PSFent, for interpolating the PSF shape parameters, based on reconstructing underlying shape parameter maps with a multi-scale maximum entropy algorithm. We demonstrate, using images from the LSST Photon Simulator, the performance of our approach relative to a 5th-order polynomial fit (representing the current standard) and a simple boxcar smoothing technique. Quantitatively, PSFent predicts more accurate PSF models in all scenarios and the residual PSF errors are spatially less correlated. This improvement in PSF interpolation leads to a factor of 3.5 lower systematic errors in the shear power spectrum on scales smaller than $\sim13'$, compared to polynomial fitting. We estimate that with PSFent and for stellar densities greater than $\simeq1/{\rm arcmin}^{2}$, the spurious shear correlation from PSF interpolation, after combining a complete 10-year dataset from LSST, is lower than the corresponding statistical uncertainties on the cosmic shear power spectrum, even under a conservative scenario.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2012; DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.22134.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The precise measurements planned for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) require careful algorithmic studies before the telescope begins operating with its unprecedented image production rate. The LSST Image Simulation group is leading the effort to simulate the LSST system from end-to-end using a high fidelity framework. We first synthesize input astrophysical object catalogs that include stars based on a galaxy model, asteroids, and cosmologically-based galaxy catalogs with morphological parameters. We then use a novel approach to simulate images using a photon Monte Carlo approach. We draw photons from the objects using their spectral energy distributions and propagate those photons through the Universe, atmosphere, telescope, and camera using complex wavelength-dependent photon simulation physics. We describe the simulation framework, and discuss the photon simulation approach that has been used generate millions of high fidelity images.
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    ABSTRACT: ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to identify the physical conditions of all abundant elements between C and Ni to red-shifts of z=10, and beyond. The mission will answer questions such as: When were the first metals created? How does the cosmic metal content evolve? Where do most of the metals reside in the Universe? What is the role of metals in structure formation and evolution? To reach out to the early Universe ORIGIN will use Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) to study their local environments in their host galaxies. This requires the capability to slew the satellite in less than a minute to the GRB location. By studying the chemical composition and properties of clusters of galaxies we can extend the range of exploration to lower redshifts (z ~ 0.2). For this task we need a high-resolution spectral imaging instrument with a large field of view. Using the same instrument, we can also study the so far only partially detected baryons in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM). The less dense part of the WHIM will be studied using absorption lines at low redshift in the spectra for GRBs.
    Experimental Astronomy 04/2011; 34(2):519. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope designed to provide a complete survey of 20,000 square degrees of sky in six optical bands every few nights. Over ten years of operation, it will measure the magnitudes, colors, and shapes of several billion galaxies. As such, LSST will probe cosmic shear down to levels far beyond those accessible with current surveys. The unprecedented statistical power of LSST will impose new requirements on the control of weak lensing systematics. Various noise sources become important in this context, associated with counting statistics, atmospheric effects, and wavefront errors introduced by the telescope and camera systems. We are studying these various noise components and their impact on shear measurements using simulated LSST images produced by a prototype high fidelity photon-by-photon Monte Carlo code. The code includes the most significant physical effects associated with photon propagation through the atmosphere, reflection off of the three mirror surfaces of the telescope, and propagation through the elements of the camera and on into the detector. We report on preliminary results from this program, including plots of residual shear error correlation functions due to errors in the object shape estimation for realistic LSST operating conditions.
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    ABSTRACT: The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) uses a novel, three-mirror, modified Paul-Baker design, with an 8.4-meter primary mirror, a 3.4-m secondary, and a 5.0-m tertiary feeding a refractive camera design with 3 lenses (0.69-1.55m) and a set of broadband filters/corrector lenses. Performance is excellent over a 9.6 square degree field and ultraviolet to near infrared wavelengths. We describe the image quality error budget analysis methodology which includes effects from optical and optomechanical considerations such as index inhomogeneity, fabrication and null-testing error, temperature gradients, gravity, pressure, stress, birefringence, and vibration.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 07/2010; DOI:10.1117/12.857682 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optically fed by LSST's fast and wide-field optics, the camera has a 9.6 square degree FOV in a 3.2 Gigapixel focal plane array. The focal plane is tiled by 189 4Kx4K CCD science sensors with 10μm (0.2 arcsec) pixels and also houses four diagnostic ("corner raft") packages that provide guide- and wavefront-sensors at opposing sides of the field. The focal plane array is highly modular and features a parallelized readout scheme, allowing the entire array to be read in 2 seconds. Dedicated front- and back-end electronics boards housed within the cryostat vacuum vessel operate sensors in raft groups (3x3 sensors; 144 data channels) while mechanically identical "rafts” are precision-mounted on a rigid silicon carbide grid structure. Three large, refractive lens elements act as the optical system's corrector (the third, L3, provides the vacuum barrier for the cryostat), and one of six possible band-pass filters is positioned in the beam at any given time. Mechanisms within the camera include a mechanical shutter and a carousel filter changer assembly. The camera control system manages all aspects of camera operation including image capture, thermal monitoring and control, vacuum control, filter changes, and communication with the observatory control system. The data acquisition system records and pre-processes raw images, provides up to 3 days of storage capacity, and provides very high throughput data transfer to downstream data management.
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    ABSTRACT: A survey that can cover the sky in optical bands over wide fields to faint magnitudes with a fast cadence will enable many of the exciting science opportunities of the next decade. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will have an effective aperture of 6.7 meters and an imaging camera with field of view of 9.6 deg^2, and will be devoted to a ten-year imaging survey over 20,000 deg^2 south of +15 deg. Each pointing will be imaged 2000 times with fifteen second exposures in six broad bands from 0.35 to 1.1 microns, to a total point-source depth of r~27.5. The LSST Science Book describes the basic parameters of the LSST hardware, software, and observing plans. The book discusses educational and outreach opportunities, then goes on to describe a broad range of science that LSST will revolutionize: mapping the inner and outer Solar System, stellar populations in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, the structure of the Milky Way disk and halo and other objects in the Local Volume, transient and variable objects both at low and high redshift, and the properties of normal and active galaxies at low and high redshift. It then turns to far-field cosmological topics, exploring properties of supernovae to z~1, strong and weak lensing, the large-scale distribution of galaxies and baryon oscillations, and how these different probes may be combined to constrain cosmological models and the physics of dark energy.

Publication Stats

587 Citations
86.22 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Purdue University
      • Department of Physics
      West Lafayette, Indiana, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Physics
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2011
    • Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      Livermore, California, United States
  • 1996–2008
    • Columbia University
      • Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory
      New York City, NY, United States