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Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer Instrument Handbook for Cycle 17 > Chapter 1: Introduction andGeneral Considerations > 1.2 Layout

1.2 Layout
NICMOS provides direct imaging in broad, medium, and narrow-band filters at a range of spatial resolutions in the near infrared from 0.8 to 2.5 microns, together with broad-band imaging polarimetry, coronagraphic imaging and slitless grism spectroscopy. Figure 1.1 provides a road map to navigating this document.
The chapters of this Handbook are as follows:
Chapter 1:Introduction and General Considerations, describes the Handbook layout, where to find help and additional documentation, and important advice for preparing NICMOS proposals.
Chapter 2:Overview of NICMOS, provides an introduction to the capabilities of NICMOS under NCS operations, the basic physical and imaging layout, and a summary of the detectors’ operations.
Chapter 3:Designing NICMOS Observations, shows in tabular form the required steps for designing a NICMOS observing program, guides users through some of the technical details for choosing the optimal configuration for a given observation, and provides the reader with a “map” for the subsequent chapters.
Chapter 4:Imaging, provides a description of NICMOS’s imaging capabilities including camera resolutions and throughputs, image quality and effects of cosmic rays. The infrared background seen by NICMOS is also described here.
Chapter 5:Coronagraphy, Polarimetry and Grism Spectroscopy, provides detailed information on coronagraphic imaging, grism spectroscopy, and polarimetry.
Chapter 6:NICMOS Apertures and Orientation, describes the aperture definitions and the sky-projected orientation of the instrument.
Chapter 7:NICMOS Detectors, describes the basic properties of the detectors used in the three cameras including their physical characteristics, capabilities and limitations. Performance descriptions are based on calibrations under NCS operations.
Chapter 8:Detector Readout Modes, explains the data taking modes which take advantage of the non-destructive readout capabilities of the NICMOS arrays. While nearly all observers will choose to use MULTIACCUM mode, we give descriptions of other modes to help proposers/users choose the most appropriate ones for their observations.
Chapter 9:Exposure Time Calculations, provides information for performing signal-to-noise calculations, either by using pencil and paper, or using software tools that are provided on the World Wide Web (WWW).
Chapter 10:Overheads and Orbit Time Determination, provides information to convert from a series of planned science exposures to an estimate of the number of orbits, including spacecraft and NICMOS overheads. This chapter applies principally to the planning of Phase I proposals.
Appendix A:Imaging Reference Material, provides summary information and filter transmission curves for each imaging filter, ordered by camera and increasing wavelength.
Appendix B:Flux Units and Line Lists, provides formulae and tables for the conversion of flux units, and a list of common infrared spectral lines.
Appendix C:Bright Object Mode, describes the BRIGHTOBJ read-out mode.
Appendix D:Techniques for Dithering, Background Measurement and Mapping, describes the implementation of a pre-defined set of patterns which accomplish dithering and chopping from the field of interest, and allow easy generation of large mosaic images.
Appendix E:The NICMOS Cooling System, describes the system that has cooled NICMOS since Cycle 11.
Figure 1.1: Roadmap for Using the NICMOS Instrument Handbook

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