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Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna
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Abstract Reference: 31196
Identifier: P6.15
Presentation: Poster presentation
Key Theme: 6 Python in Astronomy

SimCADO - a python package for simulating detector output for MICADO at the E-ELT

Authors:
Leschinski Kieran, Czoske Oliver, Koehler Rainer, Mach Michael, Zeilinger Werner, Verdoes Kleijn Gijs, Joao Alves

Within the next 10 years a new generation of extremely large telescopes will become available to the astronomical community. These telescopes and the instruments attached to them will allow observations of the darkest and furthest phenomena in the universe. The work horse NIR imaging camera for the European Extremely Large Telescope will be MICADO. As part of its development we have created a Python package - SimCADO - which simulates the output of the MICADO detector array.

With the help of the SCAO and MCAO observing modes, MICADO will have the ability to observe at the diffraction limit in the 0.7-2.5um wavelength range. It will offer a wide field (4mas/pixel) and a zoom (1.5mas/pixel) imaging mode, as well as a long slit spectrographic mode. For each of these modes the SimCADO package combines the effects that elements along the optical path have on photons travelling from their point of origin, through the E-ELT/MICADO system and onto the detector chips. The output of a SimCADO simulation run is therefore akin to the raw output expected from the MICADO detector array.

SimCADO is, and will be, used by various teams within the MICADO consortium. Consortium-internal uses of SimCADO include: providing a single platform for the science team to solidify the science drivers for MICADO; acting as a stand-in for the MICADO instrument to aid in creating the specifications for the data flow infrastructure; confirming the effect on the quality of the science output for detailed design trade-off studies; generating updated data tables for the ESO exposure time calculator; etc. SimCADO will be a useful tool for simulating a broad variety of astrophysical objects and processes in order to efficiently prepare observing programs for MICADO at the E-ELT. In these proceedings we provide a overview of the internal working of the SimCADO package as well as provide an example of a use-case simulation.