Gaia Data Release 2
Calibration and mitigation of electronic offset effects in the data
Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill,
2 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
3 Max Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4 HE Space Operations B.V. for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
5 ESA, European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
6 ESA, European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AG, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
7 Institut de Ciències del Cosmos, Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
8 Aurora Technology B.V. for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
9 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
10 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
11 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Spain
12 Universidad de La Laguna, Departamento de Astrofísica, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Spain
13 Gaia DPAC Project Office, ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, Urbanización Villafranca del Castillo, Villanueva de la Cañada, 28692 Madrid, Spain
14 Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
15 INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
16 Airbus Defence and Space SAS, 31 rue des Cosmonautes, 31402 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
17 Directorate of Science, European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA/ESTEC), Keplerlaan 1, 2201AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Accepted: 16 March 2018
Context. The European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite was launched into orbit around L2 in December 2013. This ambitious mission has strict requirements on residual systematic errors resulting from instrumental corrections in order to meet a design goal of sub-10 microarcsecond astrometry. During the design and build phase of the science instruments, various critical calibrations were studied in detail to ensure that this goal could be met in orbit. In particular, it was determined that the video-chain offsets on the analogue side of the analogue-to-digital conversion electronics exhibited instabilities that could not be mitigated fully by modifications to the flight hardware.
Aims. We provide a detailed description of the behaviour of the electronic offset levels on short (<1 ms) timescales, identifying various systematic effects that are known collectively as “offset non-uniformities”. The effects manifest themselves as transient perturbations on the gross zero-point electronic offset level that is routinely monitored as part of the overall calibration process.
Methods. Using in-orbit special calibration sequences along with simple parametric models, we show how the effects can be calibrated, and how these calibrations are applied to the science data. While the calibration part of the process is relatively straightforward, the application of the calibrations during science data processing requires a detailed on-ground reconstruction of the readout timing of each charge-coupled device (CCD) sample on each device in order to predict correctly the highly time-dependent nature of the corrections.
Results. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our offset non-uniformity models in mitigating the effects in Gaia data.
Conclusions. We demonstrate for all CCDs and operating instrument/modes on board Gaia that the video-chain noise-limited performance is recovered in the vast majority of science samples.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors / methods: data analysis / space vehicles: instruments
© ESO 2018