|WFC3 Instrument Handbook for Cycle 25|
We now turn to estimation of count rates for slitless spectroscopy using the WFC3 grisms. In this case we are dealing with a dispersed image of the source.For a point source with a continuous spectrum, the count rate, C, is calculated per pixel along the dispersed spectral trace, and is integrated over a fixed extraction height in the spatial direction perpendicular to the dispersion. The count rate is:
• Sλ is the total point source sensitivity in units of e−s−1 per incident
erg cm−2 s−1 Å−1; and .
• d is the spectral dispersion in Å pixel−1.
• is the fraction of the point-source energy within Nspix in the spatial direction.For a source with an unresolved emission line with a flux of in units of
erg cm−2 s−1, the total count rate recorded over the Nspix extraction height is:These counts will be distributed over pixels in the dispersion direction according to the instrumental line-spread function.In contrast to the case of imaging sensitivity , the spectroscopic point source sensitivity calibration () for a default extraction height of Nspix was measured directly from observations of stellar flux standards during SMOV and Cycle 17 calibration programs 11934, 11936, and 11552. Therefore, the accuracy in laboratory determinations of for the WFC3 grisms are not crucial to the final accuracy of their sensitivity calibrations.The peak e-s−1 pixel−1 from the point source is given by: