Back to Volume
Paper: Networks of Absolute Calibration Stars for SST, AKARI, and WISE
Volume: 364, The Future of Photometric, Spectrophotometric, and Polarimetric Standardization
Page: 333
Authors: Cohen, M.
Abstract: I describe the Cohen-Walker-Witteborn (CWW) network of absolute calibration stars built to support ground-based, airborne, and space-based sensors, and how they are used to calibrate instruments on the SPITZER Space Telescope (SST) and Japan's AKARI (formerly ASTRO-F), and to support NASA's planned MidEx WISE (the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). All missions using this common calibration share a self-consistent framework embracing photometry and low-resolution spectroscopy. CWW also underpins COBE/DIRBE, several instruments used on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), the joint Japan-USA “IR Telescope in Space” (IRTS) Near-IR and Mid- IR spectrometers, the European Space Agency's IR Space Observatory (ISO), and the US Department of Defense's Midcourse Space eXperiment (MSX). This calibration now spans the far-UV to mid-infrared range with Sirius (one specific Kurucz synthetic spectrum) as basis, and zero magnitude defined from another Kurucz spectrum intended to represent an ideal Vega (not the actual star with its pole-on orientation and mid-infrared dust excess emission). Precision 4–29 μm radiometric measurements on MSX validate CWW's absolute Kurucz spectrum of Sirius, the primary, and a set of bright K/MIII secondary standards. Sirius is measured to be 1.0% higher than predicted. CWW's definitions of IR zero magnitudes lie within 1.1% absolute of MSX measurements. The US Air Force Research Laboratory's independent analysis of on-orbit MSX stellar observations compared with emissive reference spheres show CWW primary and empirical secondary spectra lie well within the ±1.45% absolute uncertainty associated with this 15-year effort. Our associated absolute calibration for the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) on the SST lies within ~2% of the recent extension of the calibration of the Hubble Space Telescope's STIS instrument to NICMOS (Bohlin, these Proceedings), showing the closeness of these two independent approaches to calibration.
Back to Volume