Back to Volume
Paper: HST/WFC3: Understanding and Mitigating Radiation Damage Effects in the CCD Detectors
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 323
Authors: Baggett, S.; Anderson, J.; Sosey, M.; MacKenty, J.; Gosmeyer, C.; Noeske, K.; Gunning, H.; Bourque, M.
Abstract: At the heart of the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST/WFC3) UVIS channel resides a 4096x4096 pixel e2v CCD array. While these detectors are performing extremely well after more than 5 years in low-earth orbit, the cumulative effects of radiation damage cause a continual growth in the hot pixel population and a progressive loss in charge transfer efficiency (CTE) over time. The decline in CTE has two effects: (1) it reduces the detected source flux as the defects trap charge during readout and (2) it systematically shifts source centroids as the trapped charge is later released. The flux losses can be significant, particularly for faint sources in low background images. Several mitigation options exist, including target placement within the field of view, empirical stellar photometric corrections, post-flash mode and an empirical pixel-based CTE correction. The application of a post-flash has been remarkably effective in WFC3 at reducing CTE losses in low background images for a relatively small noise penalty. Currently all WFC3 observers are encouraged to post-flash images with low backgrounds. Another powerful option in mitigating CTE losses is the pixel-based CTE correction. Analagous to the CTE correction software currently in use in the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) pipeline, the algorithm employs an empirical observationally-constrained model of how much charge is captured and released in order to reconstruct the image. Applied to images (with or without post-flash) after they are acquired, the software is currently available as a standalone routine. The correction will be incorporated into the standard WFC3 calibration pipeline.
Back to Volume