Volume 492, Number 3, December IV 2008
|Page(s)||863 - 871|
|Published online||30 October 2008|
Post-hoc derivation of SOHO Michelson doppler imager flat fields
Dept. Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 22 October 2008
Context. The SOHO satellite now offers a unique perspective on the Sun as it is the only space-based instrument that can provide large, high-resolution data sets over an entire 11-year solar cycle. This unique property enables detailed studies of long-term variations in the Sun. One significant problem when looking for such changes is determining what component of any variation is due to deterioration of the instrument and what is due to the Sun itself. One of the key parameters that changes over time is the apparent sensitivity of individual pixels in the CCD array. This can change considerably as a result of optics damage, radiation damage, and aging of the sensor itself. In addition to reducing the sensitivity of the telescope over time, this damage significantly changes the uniformity of the flat field of the instrument, a property that is very hard to recalibrate in space. For procedures such as feature tracking and intensity analysis, this can cause significant errors.
Aims. We present a method for deriving high-precision flat fields for high-resolution MDI continuum data, using analysis of existing continuum and magnetogram data sets.
Methods. A flat field is constructed using a large set (1000-4000 frames) of cospatial magnetogram and continuum data. The magnetogram data is used to identify and mask out magnetically active regions on the continuum data, allowing systematic biases to be avoided. This flat field can then be used to correct individual continuum images from a similar time.
Results. This method allows us to reduce the residual flat field error by around a factor 6-30, depending on the area considered, enough to significantly change the results from correlation-tracking analysis. One significant advantage of this method is that it can be done retrospectively using archived data, without requiring any special satellite operations.
Key words: techniques: image processing / Sun: photosphere / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2008
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