ccdtime -- compute time, magnitude, and signal-to-noise for CCDs
- time = INDEF
- Time in seconds for output of magnitude at the specified signal-to-noise and signal-to-noise at the specified magnitude. This time applies to all filters. If specified as INDEF then no output at fixed exposure time will be produced. If the value is not greater than zero or less than 100000 an error is reported.
- magnitude = 20.
- Magnitude for output of time at the specified signal-to-noise and signal-to-noise at the specified time. This magnitude applies to all filters. If specified as INDEF then no output at fixed magnitude will be produced. If the absolute value of the magnitude is greater than 40 an error will be reported.
- snr = 20.
- Signal-to-noise ratio for output of time at the specified magnitude and magnitude at the specified time. This signal-to-noise ratio applies to all filters. If specified as INDEF then no output at fixed signal-to-noise ratio will be produced. If the value is not greater than zero or less than 100000 an error is reported.
- database = "ccdtime$kpno.dat"
- Database file for telescope, filter, and detector information. The format of this file is described elsewhere. This file is typically a standard file from the logical directory "ccdtime$" or a personal copy in a user's directory.
- telescope = "?"
- Telescope entry from the database. If "?" a list of telescopes in the database is produced. The name must match the entry name in the database but ignoring case. If the same telescope has multiple focal ratios then there must be multiple entries in the database.
- detector = ""
- Detector entry from the database. If "?" a list of detectors in the database is produced. The name must match the entry name in the database but ignoring case.
- sum = 1
- CCD on-chip summing or binning factor.
- seeing = 1.5
- Expected seeing (FWHM) in arc seconds. The number of pixels used for computing the total star counts and the signal-to-noise is given by 1.4 times the square of the seeing converted to pixels and rounded up.
- airmass = 1.2
- Airmass for observation.
- phase = 0.
- Moon phase in days (0-28) for the estimation of sky brightness. A phase of zero is new moon or dark sky conditions and a phase of 14 is full moon.
- f= "U", f2 = "B", f3 = "V", f4 = "R", f5 = "I"
- Filters for which to compute the CCD information. If given as "?" a list of filters in the database is produced. If the name (ignoring case) is not found then it is ignored. A null name, that is "", is used to eliminate listing of a filter. There may be many filters in the database but the task is currently limited to displaying no more than five.
A telescope, CCD detector, and list of filters is selected from a database to define the expected photon/electron count rates. These rates along with a specified seeing and airmass are used to estimate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for a stellar observation in each filter. The output provides three results per filter; the exposure time to achieve a desired SNR for a given magnitude, the magnitude to achive a desired SNR in a given time, and the SNR at a specified magnitude and exposure time. With each of these, the number of star photons (or CCD electrons) in an area 1.4 times the square of the seeing, the number of sky photons per pixel, and the RMS noise contributions from photon noise in the star, the sky, and the detector noise from dark current and read out noise are given. Note that least two of the time, magnitude, and signal-to-noise ratio must be specified but if one is INDEF then output with that quantity fixed will be skipped or, in other words, only the output where the quantity is computed is produced.
The calibration information needed to define the count rates are taken from a database file. This file may be standard ones given in the logical directory "ccdtime$" or the user may create their own. The database contains entries organized by telescope name (which may include a focal ratio if there are multiple ones), detector name, and filter name. One of the standard files may be used as a template.
The file is actually in free format with whitespace and comments ignored. However, following the template formating makes it easy to see the logical structure. All lines, except the "end" line which separates the different catagories of entries, consist of a keyword an equal sign, and a value separated by whitespace. An entry begins with one of the keywords "telescope", "detector", or "filter" and ends with the beginning of a new entry or the "end" separator.
A keyword is one of the words shown in the example below. These keywords can also be indexed by the name of a telescope, filter, and/or detector entry. This allows having different transmissions in different filters due to correctors, different scales for different detectors which may have fore-optics, etc.
Specifically a keyword in the telescope section may have arguments from the filter or detector entries, a keyword in the filter section may have arguments from the telescope and detector entries, and a keyword in the detector section may have arguments from the telescope and filter entries. The formats are keyword, keyword(arg), and keyword(arg,arg). The arg fields must match an entry name exactly (without the quotes) and there can be no whitespace between the keyword and (, between ( and the argument, between the arguments and the comma, and between the last argument and the closing ). The software will first look for keywords with both arguments in either order, then for keywords with one argument, and then for keywords with no arguments.
Below is an example of each type of entry:
telescope = "0.9m" aperture = 0.91 scale = 30.2 transmission = 1.0 transmission(U) = 0.8 transmission(U,T1KA) = 0.7 filter = "U" mag = 20 star = 18.0 extinction = 0.2 sky0 = 22.0 sky1 = -0.2666 sky2 = -.00760 detector = "T1KA" rdnoise = 3.5 dark = 0.001 pixsize = 24 U = 0.36 B = 0.61 V = 0.71 R = 0.78 I = 0.60
In the example, a transmission of 0.7 will be used if the filter is U and the detector is T1KA, a value of 0.8 if the filter is U and the detector is not T1KA, and a value of 1 for all other cases.
The telescope entry contains the aperture diameter in meters, the scale in arcsec/mm, and a transmission factor. The transmission factor is mostly a fudge factor but may be useful if a telescope has various configurations with additional mirrors and optics.
The filter entry contains a fiducial magnitude and the total photon count rate for a star of that magnitude. The units are photons per second per square meter of aperture. An effective extinction in magnitudes/airmass is given here. The sky is defined by a quadratic function of lunar phase in days:
if (phase < 14) sky = sky0 + sky1 * phase + sky2 * phase**2 else sky = sky0 + sky1 * (14 - phase) + sky2 * (14 - phase)**2
One may set the higher order terms to zero if the moon contribution is to be ignored. The units are magnitudes per square arc second.
The detector entry contains the read out noise in electrons, the dark current rate in electrons per second, the pixel size in microns, and the detective quantum efficiency (DQE); the fraction of detected photons converted to electrons. Note that the actual values used are the DQE times the rates given by the filter entries. Thus, one may set the DQE values to 1 and adjust the filter values or set the star count rates to 1 in the filter and set the actual count rates in the DQE values.
The computed quantities are formally given as follows. The star count rates for the specified telescope/detector/filter are:
r(star) = star * aperture**2 * transmission * 10**(0.4*(1-airmass)*extinction) * dqe
where the "star", "aperture", "transmission", "extinction", are those in the database and the "dqe" is the appropriate filter value. The sky rate per pixel is:
r(sky) = r(star) * 10 ** (0.4 * (mag - sky)) * pixel**2 pixel = pixsize * scale * sum
where mag is the fiducial magnitude, sky is the value computed using the quadratic formula for the specified moon phase and the database coefficients, the "pixel" size is computed using the CCD pixel size and the telescope scale from the database, and sum is the specified CCD binning factor.
The number of pixels per star is computed from the seeing as:
npix = 1.4 * (seeing / pixel) ** 2
where the number is rounded up to the next integer and a minimum of 9 pixels is enforced. This number is a compromise between a large aperture for high SNR stars and a smaller aperture for fainter stars.
The number of star photons/electrons per star of magnitude m, the number of sky photons per pixel, and the number of dark current electrons, all in exposure time t, are given by:
nstar = r(star) * 10 ** (0.4 * (mag - m)) * t nsky = r(sky) * t ndark = dark * t
where dark is taken from the detector database entry.
Finally the noise contributions, total noise, and signal-to-noise are given by:
noise star = nstar ** 1/2 noise sky = (npix * nsky) ** 1/2 noise ccd = (npix * (ndark + rdnoise**2)) ** 1/2 noise total = (nstar+npix*(nsky+ndark+rdnoise**2)) ** 1/2 SNR = nstar / noise total
1. To get a list of the telescopes, filters, and detectors in a database:
cl> ccdtime telescope=? detector=? f1=? Entries for telescope in database ccdtime$kpno.dat: 0.9m ... 4m Entries for detector in database ccdtime$kpno.dat: T1KA T2KA T2KB TI2 TI3 T5HA S2KA Entries for filter in database ccdtime$kpno.dat: U B V R I
2. The following is for the default magnitude and SNR and with a 1 second exposure time specified. The output has some whitespace removed to fit on this page.
cl> ccdtime time=1 Telescope: 0.9m Detector: t1ka Database: ccdtime$kpno.dat Telescope: 0.9m Detector: t1ka Sum: 1 Arcsec/pixel: 0.72 Pixels/star: 6.0 Seeing: 1.5 Airmass: 1.20 Phase: 0.0 Filter Time Mag SNR Star Sky/pix Noise contributions Star Sky CCD U 70.2 20.0 10.0 196.6 8.8 14.02 8.90 10.53 B 13.0 20.0 10.0 208.8 13.0 14.45 10.82 10.51 V 13.2 20.0 10.0 250.7 29.8 15.83 16.37 10.51 R 17.3 20.0 10.0 365.8 95.9 19.13 29.38 10.51 I 126.4 20.0 10.0 1259.2 1609.8 35.49 120.37 10.55 U 1.0 15.6 10.0 166.6 0.1 12.91 1.06 10.50 B 1.0 17.4 10.0 170.0 1.0 13.04 3.00 10.50 V 1.0 17.6 10.0 174.6 2.3 13.21 4.50 10.50 R 1.0 17.6 10.0 186.0 5.5 13.64 7.06 10.50 I 1.0 16.7 10.0 207.9 12.7 14.42 10.71 10.50 U 1.0 20.0 0.3 2.8 0.1 1.67 1.06 10.50 B 1.0 20.0 1.4 16.0 1.0 4.00 3.00 10.50 V 1.0 20.0 1.6 19.0 2.3 4.36 4.50 10.50 R 1.0 20.0 1.6 21.1 5.5 4.59 7.06 10.50 I 1.0 20.0 0.7 10.0 12.7 3.16 10.71 10.50
Note that the default of 1 second in the last section gives the count rates per second for star and sky.
3. Sometimes one may want to vary one parameter easily on the command line or query. This can be done by changing the parameter to query mode. In the following example we want to change the magnitude.
cl> ccdtime.magnitude.p_mode=query cl> ccdtime.telescope="0.9m" cl> ccdtime.detector="t1ka" cl> ccdtime.f1=""; ccdtime.f5="" cl> ccdtime Magnitude (20.): Database: ccdtime$kpno.dat Telescope: 0.9m Detector: t1ka Sum: 1 Arcsec/pixel: 0.72 Pixels/star: 6.0 Seeing: 1.5 Airmass: 1.20 Phase: 0.0 Filter Time Mag SNR Star Sky/pix Noise contributions Star Sky CCD B 13.0 20.0 10.0 208.8 13.0 14.45 10.82 10.51 V 13.2 20.0 10.0 250.7 29.8 15.83 16.37 10.51 R 17.3 20.0 10.0 365.8 95.9 19.13 29.38 10.51 cl> ccdtime 21 ... cl> ccdtime 22 ...
- CCDTIME V2.11.4
- A error will be reported if the requested time or SNR is not greater than zero and less than 100000., or if the absolute value of the magnitude is greater than 40.
- CCDTIME V2.11.2
- The incorrect usage of a 1 mag/airmass extinction was fixed by adding an
expected "extinction" entry in the filter entries. Note that old files
will still give the same result by using an extinction of 1 if the keyword
is not found.
The database keywords can not be indexed by telescope, filter, and/or detector.
The number of pixels per aperture now has a minimum of 9 pixels.