Introduction to STIPS for Roman

The STIPS (Space Telescope Image Product Simulator) software produces simulated imaging data for complex wide-area astronomical scenes, based on user inputs, instrument models and library catalogs for a range of stellar and/or galactic populations. It was originally developed for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, and has been extended to include Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, formerly known as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), functionality as well. The current Roman Space Telescope version produces images covering a single detector in the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) field of view. STIPS includes the most current information about the telescope sensitivity, spectral elements, and detector properties. It uses the PSF model generated by WebbPSF-WFIRST1, and it calls the appropriate Pandeia modules to compute instrumental throughput and count rates.

STIPS is available on GitHub as a Python module, and also via PyPI.

Pseudocolor image of the central region of a globular cluster
Pseudocolor image of the central region of a globular cluster viewed in the Z087, J129, and F184 filters of the Roman Wide Field Instrument (WFI), as simulated using STIPS.



At the heart of STIPS is a multi-faceted scene generation that allows varying degrees of user control. STIPS can generate a randomized set of stars or idealized galaxies based on very concise user specifications, or it can generate point or extended sources based on a detailed input catalog. In addition, an existing image can be used as background.


STIPS can be run by users locally by cloning the GitHub repository or installing the PyPI package. STIPS Documentation is being maintained on Read the Docs. 


Credits, Acknowledgements, and Feedback

STIPS is developed by Brian York and Robel Geda, with guidance and contributions from Klaus Pontoppidan, Jason Kalirai, Pey Lian Lim, and Stefano Casertano. STIPS makes use of open source astronomical software developed by Justin Bird, Ahmed Fasih, and Adam Ginsburg.

Users are encouraged to address questions, suggestions, and bug reports to the STScI HST Help Desk. The message will then be directed to the appropriate members of the STIPS-Roman team at STScI. In addition, bug reports may be filed against the STIPS GitHub module.

Contact Information


Please contact with "STIPS-Roman Question" in the subject line.



1 The Roman PSF module in WebbPSF is accessed through 'from webbpsf import wfirst', as of WebbPSF v0.9.0.

Contact the Roman Team