Space Telescope Science Institute
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Table of Contents

Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer Instrument Handbook for Cycle 17
Chapter 1: Introduction andGeneral Considerations
1.1 Purpose
Document Conventions
1.2 Layout
1.3 NICMOS Proposal Preparation
1.4 The Help Desk at STScI
1.5 The NICMOS Instrument Team at STScI
1.6 Supporting Information and the NICMOS Web Site
1.7 NICMOS History in Brief
1.8 Three-Gyro Guiding
1.9 Recommendations for Proposers
1.10 Supported and Unsupported NICMOS Capabilities
Chapter 2: Overview of NICMOS
2.1 Instrument Capabilities
2.2 Heating, Cooling and Focus
2.3 NICMOS Instrument Design
2.3.1 Physical Layout
2.3.2 Imaging Layout
2.3.3 Camera NIC1
2.3.4 Camera NIC2
2.3.5 Camera NIC3
2.3.6 Location and Orientation of Cameras
2.4 Basic Operations
2.4.1 Detectors’ Characteristics and Operations
2.4.2 Comparison to CCDs
2.4.3 Target Acquisition Modes
2.4.4 Attached Parallels
Chapter 3: Designing NICMOS Observations
3.1 Overview of Design Process
3.2 APT and Aladin
Chapter 4: Imaging
4.1 Filters and Optical Elements
4.1.1 Nomenclature
4.1.2 Out-of-Band Leaks in NICMOS Filters
4.2 Photometry
4.2.1 Solar Analog Absolute Standards
4.2.2 White Dwarf Absolute Standards
4.2.3 Photometric Throughput and Stability
4.2.4 Count Rate Dependent Non-linearity
4.2.5 Intrapixel Sensitivity Variations
4.2.6 Special Situations
4.3 Focus History
4.4 Image Quality
4.4.1 Strehl Ratios
4.4.2 NIC1 and NIC2
4.4.3 NIC3
4.4.4 PSF Structure
4.4.5 Optical Aberrations: Coma and Astigmatism
4.4.6 Field Dependence of the PSF
4.4.7 Temporal Dependence of the PSF: HST Breathing and Cold Mask Shifts
4.5 Cosmic Rays
4.6 Photon and Cosmic Ray Persistence
4.7 The Infrared Background
4.8 The “Pedestal Effect”
Chapter 5: Coronagraphy, Polarimetry andGrism Spectroscopy
5.1 Coronagraphy
5.1.1 Coronagraphic Acquisitions
5.1.2 PSF Centering
5.1.3 Temporal Variations of the PSF
5.1.4 FGS Guiding
5.1.5 Cosmic Ray Persistence
5.1.6 Contemporary Flat Fields
5.1.7 Coronagraphic Polarimetry
5.1.8 Coronagraphic Decision Chart
5.2 Polarimetry
5.2.1 NIC 1 and NIC2 Polarimetric Characteristics andSensitivity
5.2.2 Ghost images
5.2.3 Observing Strategy Considerations
5.2.4 Limiting Factors
5.2.5 Polarimetry Decision Chart
5.3 Grism Spectroscopy
5.3.1 Observing Strategy
5.3.2 Grism Calibration
5.3.3 Relationship Between Wavelength and Pixel
5.3.4 Sensitivity
5.3.5 Intrapixel Sensitivity
5.3.6 Grism Decision Chart
Chapter 6: NICMOS Apertures and Orientation
6.1 NICMOS Aperture Definitions
6.2 NICMOS Coordinate System Conventions
6.3 Orients
Chapter 7: NICMOS Detectors
7.1 Detector basics
7.2 Detector Characteristics
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Dark Current
7.2.3 Flat Fields and the DQE
7.2.4 Read Noise
7.2.5 Linearity and Saturation
7.2.6 Count Rate Non-Linearity
7.3 Detector Artifacts
7.3.1 Shading
7.3.2 Amplifier Glow
7.3.3 Overexposure of NICMOS Detectors
7.3.4 Electronic Bars and Bands
7.3.5 Detector Cosmetics
7.3.6 "Grot"
Chapter 8: Detector Readout Modes
8.1 Introduction
Detector Resetting as a Shutter
8.2 Multiple-Accumulate Mode
8.3 MULTIACCUM Predefined Sample Sequences(SAMP-SEQ)
8.4 Accumulate Mode
8.5 Read Times and Dark Current Calibration in ACCUM Mode
8.6 Trade-offs Between MULTIACCUM and ACCUM
8.7 Acquisition Mode
Chapter 9: Exposure TimeCalculations
9.1 Overview: Web based NICMOS ETC
9.1.1 Instrumental Factors
9.2 Calculating NICMOS Imaging Sensitivities
9.2.1 Calculation of Signal-to-Noise Ratio
9.2.2 Saturation and Detector Limitations
9.2.3 Exposure Time Calculation
Chapter 10: Overheads andOrbit Time Determination
10.1 Overview
10.2 NICMOS Exposure Overheads
10.3 Orbit Use Determination
10.3.1 Observations in the Thermal Regime Using a Chop Pattern and MULTIACCUM
Appendix A: ImagingReference Material
Camera 1, Filter F090M
Camera 1, Filter F095N
Camera 1, Filter F097N
Camera 1, Filter F108N
Camera 1, Filter F110M
Camera 1, Filter F110W
Camera 1, Filter F113N
Camera 1, Filter F140W
Camera 1, Filter F145M
Camera 1, Filter F160W
Camera 1, Filter F164N
Camera 1, Filter F165M
Camera 1, Filter F166N
Camera 1, Filter F170M
Camera 1, Filter F187N
Camera 1, Filter F190N
Camera 1, Polarizer POL0S
Camera 2, Filter F110W
Camera 2, Filter F160W
Camera 2, Filter F165M
Camera 2, Filter F171M
Camera 2, Filter F180M
Camera 2, Filter F187N
Camera 2, Filter F187W
Camera 2, Filter F190N
Camera 2, Filter F204M
Camera 2, Filter F205W
Camera 2, Filter F207M
Camera 2, Filter F212N
Camera 2, Filter F215N
Camera 2, Filter F216N
Camera 2, Filter F222M
Camera 2, Filter F237M
Camera 2, Polarizer POL0L
Camera 3, Filter F108N
Camera 3, Filter F110W
Camera 3, Filter F113N
Camera 3, Filter F150W
Camera 3, Filter F160W
Camera 3, Filter F164N
Camera 3, Filter F166N
Camera 3, Filter F175W
Camera 3, Filter F187N
Camera 3, Filter F190N
Camera 3, Filter F196N
Camera 3, Filter F200N
Camera 3, Filter F212N
Camera 3, Filter F215N
Camera 3, Filter F222M
Camera 3, Filter F240M
Appendix B: Flux Units andLine Lists
B.1 Infrared Flux Units
B.1.1 Some History
B.2 Formulae
B.2.1 Converting Between Fν and Fλ
B.2.2 Conversion Between Fluxes and Magnitudes
B.2.3 Conversion Between Surface Brightness Units
B.3 Look-up Tables
B.4 Examples
B.5 Infrared Line Lists
Appendix C: Bright Object Mode
C.1 Bright Object Mode
Appendix D: Techniques for Dithering, Background Measurement andMapping
D.1 Introduction
D.2 Strategies For Background Subtraction
D.2.1 Compact Objects
D.2.2 Extended Objects
D.3 Chop and Dither Patterns
D.3.1 Dither Patterns
D.3.2 Chop Patterns
D.3.3 Combined Patterns
D.3.4 Map Patterns
D.3.5 Combining Patterns and POS-TARGs
D.3.6 Generic Patterns
D.4 Examples
D.5 Types of Motions
Appendix E: The NICMOS Cooling System
E.1 The NICMOS Cooling System
Glossary and Acronym List

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