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Paper: Calibration Software for the Kepler Mission
Volume: 376, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XVI
Page: 305
Authors: Grumm, D.; Hodge, P.E.
Abstract: The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission scheduled for launch in 2008 November, will survey a 105 deg2 field of view in the Cygnus- Lyra region of the Milky Way galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone. Only a small fraction of each CCD image will be returned from Kepler to Earth, and the data will be stored in tabular format with columns that include pixel coordinates and pixel value. The Kepler Data Management Center (DMC) at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA, will provide calibration of the Kepler data. There are several unusual features of the telescope and data collection. The telescope will point in a fixed direction throughout the mission in order to obtain precise differential photometry on many thousands of targets. There is no shutter, so one step of calibration will be to remove vertical streaks (smear) produced by stars during readout. The bias level will be measured from counts in a set of physical pixels, so cosmic rays must be detected and removed from the bias region. Novel aspects of the calibration pipeline include the extensive use of Python and NumPy to process the unique format of the Kepler files.
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