First simulation and data reduction of a JWST/NIRSpec observation

Dorner, Bernhard

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a joint project by NASA, ESA, and CSA, is the successor mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. One of the four science instruments of the observatory is the multi-object spectrograph NIRSpec. It will be able to measure the spectra of more than 100 objects simultaneously and will cover the near infrared wavelength range from 0.6 to 5.0 μm at various spectral resolutions. Due to the instrument complexity, it was seen as necessary to create an instrument simulator for studies of the instrument performance, optical and geometrical effects, as well as the creation of realistic calibration and science exposures to develop and test data analysis tools. The Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL), as subcontractor to EADS Astrium GmbH, develops this Instrument Performance Simulator (IPS) software for NIRSpec.

One of the key objectives of the IPS is to generate realistic simulated JWST/NIRSpec exposures of astrophysical sources, providing a check of NIRSpec in-orbit performances and inputs for the definition of the best observation strategies. We briefly summarize how the different input data is used for the instrument model and present the simulated exposure of an observation of a typical NIRSpec target, a model galaxy at high redshift. Following this, we describe a first spectral extraction pipeline tailored to the IPS and compare the obtained spectrum with the input.

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