5.3.2 BP/RP geometric model

Author(s): Francesca De Angeli

Since each CCD has a different position on the focal plane and the focal length of each telescope is slightly different, the propagation of the position of the window can be imprecise causing an imperfect centring of the observed source inside the window. In BP/RP observations, these shifts in the AL direction can affect the wavelength calibration and must be estimated.

The correspondence between pixels and wavelengths is provided by the BP and RP dispersion functions, that are defined with respect to the position of a reference wavelength. The location in the sample space of this reference wavelength can change for different transits because of diverse reasons: the source might have a significant AL motion or the on-board window propagation may not be very accurate. The reference wavelength position can be predicted starting from the source astrophysical coordinates, the satellite attitude and the focal plane geometry.

For a set of observed spectra of sources with similar spectral type, the observed location of the reference wavelength is expected to be the same, except for the effects of non-perfect centring of the window, and it can be estimated in the following way: the spectra are first scaled to the same integrated flux and then aligned using cross-correlation to find an initial adjustment in sample position and flux; this adjustment is then refined by fitting a spline to all spectra observed in the same calibration unit and then using that as a reference spectrum to fit second-order corrections to the alignment parameters for that calibration unit. After this second alignment, a reference spectrum is generated from all spectra from different calibration units. This reference spectrum is finally fitted to evaluate the sample position of the reference wavelength within the actual sampling.

The differential corrections that need to be applied to the nominal focal plane geometry are then modelled from the difference between the observed and predicted locations of the reference wavelength.

For more details see Sect. 5 of Carrasco et al. (2016).