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Wide Field Camera 3 Instrument Handbook for Cycle 26 > Appendix C: Dithering and Mosaicking > C.2 WFC3 Patterns

C.2 WFC3 PatternsA number of different types of patterns are available to support dithered and mosaicked WFC3 observations. The pre-defined patterns that have been implemented in APT are described in the Phase II Proposal Instructions, which are updated when the selection of a new cycle of proposals is announced. The WFC3 patterns in effect in APT at the time of publication of this Handbook are summarized here.WFC3 dither patterns designed to subsample pixels can optionally be selected as secondary patterns when WFC3 patterns with larger steps are selected as primary patterns. WFC3 patterns can also be added as secondary patterns to any of the generic pattern types (BOX, LINE, SPIRAL). When combining patterns, the smaller dither pattern should be the secondary pattern to minimize the time spent moving the telescope. Due to geometric distortion (Appendix B:), a large mosaic step shifts some objects by an integer number of rows (or columns), and others by an integer plus some fraction of a pixel. The PSF is thus not evenly sampled in the overlap region of the two exposures, so a PSF-sampling dither should be added if spatial resolution is important.Sets of exposures with offsets executed using patterns or POS TARGs are associated and combined automatically during calwf3 pipeline processing, as long as the same guide stars have been used for all exposures. Pointings must be contained within a diameter ~130 arcsec or less (depending on the availability of guide stars in the region) to use the same guide stars. Note that the rms pointing repeatability is significantly less accurate if different guide stars are used for some exposures. (See Appendix B of the DrizzlePac Handbook.)The names and purposes of the patterns in effect in APT at the time of publication are given in Table C.1. (The initially adopted names of patterns have been preserved for continuity, although they do not always correspond to the distinction between dither steps and mosaic steps outlined above.) The small BOX dither patterns are designed to optimally sample the PSF when 4 steps are used. Since time constraints do not always permit visits to be broken into multiples of 4 steps, LINE dither patterns that optimally sample the PSF in 2 or 3 steps are also given. The BOX and LINE dither patterns are illustrated in WFC3 ISR 2010-09. For a full discussion and illustrations of patterns that optimally sample the PSF for different numbers of steps, see Section C.2 of the DrizzlePac Handbook.) Note that PSF sampling generally produces a more significant improvement for IR images than for UVIS images (see Section 6.6.1 and Section 7.6.1) The remainder of the patterns in Table C.1 are special-purpose mosaic patterns that are expected to be commonly needed. We have not defined patterns to deal with specific features in flats—notably, the circular dead spot on the IR detector (WFC3 ISR 2008-08) and the UVIS “droplets” (WFC3 ISR 2008-10). However, patterns that can be used to mitigate the effects of these artifacts are discussed in WFC3 ISR 2010-09.

The default specifications of the patterns are summarized in Table C.2. The equivalent POS TARG moves are summarized in Table C.3, along with the approximate number of pixels corresponding to these moves. The number of pixels was computed using only the linear distortion terms with coefficients measured at the center of each detector. This is an excellent approximation for small moves and for objects that remain in the central region of the detector. (See Figure B.1 and B.3 in Appendix B:.)Note that you can easily scale up the patterns in APT to make them larger; e.g, multiply the Point Spacing and Line Spacing of patterns with half-pixel sampling (WFC3-IR-DITHER-BOX-MIN, WFC3-IR-DITHER-LINE, WFC3-UVIS-DITHER-BOX, WFC3-UVIS-DITHER-LINE) by an odd number to preserve the half-pixel sampling. (This is equivalent to multiplying the POS TARGs and steps in pixels by that number.) You may want to do this, for example, to move a saturated persistence-generating core of a target by a greater distance than the minimal default distance. Be aware, however, that larger steps result in larger variations in sub-pixel sampling of the PSF over the face of the detector due to non-linear geometric distortion. See WFC3 ISR 2016-14.

Table C.3: Steps in arcsec in the POS TARG frame and in detector pixels for the WFC3 convenience patterns.

where a11 ~ 0.1355 arcsec/pixel and b10 ~ 0.1211 arcsec/pixel near the center of the detector. For the UVIS detector, there is a cross-term that takes into account the fact that the projected axes are not perpendicular:where a11 ~ 0.0396 arcsec/pixel, b11 ~ 0.0027 arcsec/pixel, and b10 ~ 0.0395 arcsec/ pixel near the center of the detector. This relationship is illustrated in Figure C.1.The values of these coefficients were derived using optical models and apply to the centers of the detectors. On-orbit geometric distortion solutions give marginally different coefficients (WFC3 ISR 2010-09). The corresponding changes in pixel steps in small dithers are insignificant. The corresponding changes in pixel steps in large dithers or mosaic steps are inconsequential, since non-linear distortion makes the step size in pixels variable over the detector.

Wide Field Camera 3 Instrument Handbook for Cycle 26 > Appendix C: Dithering and Mosaicking > C.2 WFC3 Patterns