hstpolsim -- Produce simulated polarization input data frames for HST instruments

USAGE hstpolima inint inpol inpopa instr polname filtname PA_V3 instpoltab unback e_adu read_noise seed outroot


inint = "" [name]
Input Stokes I (total intensity) image.
inpol = "" [name]
Linear polarization (%) image corresponding to the Stokes I image. The image must be of the same dimensions as the Stokes I one.
inpopa = "" [name]
Linear polarization position angle (degrees) image corresponding to the Stokes I image and of the same dimensions as the Stokes I image.
incir = "" [name]
Circular polarization (%) image corresponding to the Stokes I image (can be negative corresponding to left handed circular polarization). The image must be of the same dimensions as the Stokes I one.
instr = "" [name]
Name of the HST instrument for which simulated polarization images are to be produced. Valid HST instruments are FOC, NICMOS and WFPC2. Non-HST instruments are denoted by 'SPECIAL'.
polname = "" [name]
Name of the instrument specific polarizing filter for simulated images (ignored for SPECIAL instrument).
filtname = "" [name]
Name of the instrument specific colour filter for simulated images.
PA_V3 = "" [real]
Value of the instrument position angle (degrees).
instpoltab = "" [table file name]
Name of STSDAS table file giving the parameters for polarization determination for the instrument corresponding to the input images. The table lists the polarizer filter name, the polarizer angle, the transmission for the components parallel and perpendicular to the polarizer axis, the transmission of the s and p rays (parallel and perpendicular to the pick-off mirror surface for the WFPC2 case) and the retardation of the s ray relative to the p ray, the instrumental polarization and its instrumental position angle.
unback = "" [real]
Unpolarized background level to add to ouput images
e_adu = "" [real]
Conversion factor for electrons per ADU for simulated images.
read_noise = "" [real]
Read-out noise (in electrons) for simulated images.
seed = "" [integer]
Seed for random number generator.
outroot = "" [name]
The root name for all the output files. The number of output files depends on the instrument. For FOC and NICMOS three signal files and three error files are produced. For WFPC2 seven signal and seven error files are produced corresponding to all the allowed settings of the polarizer quad filter. For a non-HST instrument the number produced depends on the number of distinct angles in the instrument table file. The files are distinguished by:
root name + int + angle (3 digit) - for signal files
root name + err + angle (3 digit) - for error files


This task is a comprehensive tool for producing simulated raw images and error frames for the HST instruments with imaging polarizer facilities (currently FOC, NICMOS and WFPC2). A non-HST instrument can also be handled - called 'SPECIAL'. There are four required input images: total signal (Stokes I in instrumental units - e.g. ADU); percentage linear polarization; position angle of polarization (E) vector (in degrees); circular polarization (in percent). The latter is required since the reflection by the pick-off mirror for WFPC2 induces some retardance (see Biretta & McMaster, WFPC2 ISR 97-11) and any input cirular polarization will affect the measurement of linear polarization.

The name of the HST instrument (or SPECIAL), the name of the polarizing filter, the name of the colour filter (if distinct from the polarizing filter e.g. for FOC and WFPC2) and the instrument position angle (PA_V3) are required to fully specify the instrument. For FOC three simulated images are produced corresponding to the polarizer angles of 0, 60 and 120 degrees. For NICMOS three simulated images are formed with polarizer angles close to 0, 120 and 240 degrees but the exact values are set by the choice of filter (short wavelength `S' or long wavelength `L'). For WFPC2 seven images are formed corresponding to the four angles of the POLQ configuration (0, 45, 90 and 135 degrees) and the three other possibilites (102, 15 and 117 degrees - see the WFPC2 Instrument Handbook for details). For the SPECIAL instrument the number of images is specified by the number of polarizer position entries in the instrument specific table file. All output simulated images have a corresponding error image.

The instrument specific parameters are matched with values found in the instpoltab table file which is required to set the instrument specific polarization parameters for computing the Stokes parameter and linear polarization data. The correction for polarizer transmission and pick-off mirror induced polarization follows closely the treatment for WFPC2 by Biretta and McMaster (WFPC2 ISR 97-11). The instrumental polarization is included for effects that are not collected by these distinct parameters.

The predicted signal for the given instrument configuration is computed at the specified polarizer position angles and written to the output files. From the electrons per ADU conversion factor and the readout noise, Poissonian errors are produced from the signal files, using a random number generator. Error frames produced with the same value of seed are identical. A constant (ADU) can be added to the simulated images to model an unpolarized component (e.g. sky or detector background); the error frames take account of this background.

The output files are distinguished by a three digit integer postfix for the polarizer position angle - thus the NICMOS POL120S simulated image will have the postfix int116 and the error image err116.


1. To produce a set of FOC simulated polarimetry images:

cl> hstpolsim inint="focint.fits" inpol="focpol.fits" inpopa="focpa.fits" instr="FOC" polname="" filtname="F437M" PA_V3=128.5 instpoltab="" unback=0.0 e_adu=1.0 read_noise=0.0 seed=99 outroot="foc1"

polname is not required since there is only one polarizer filter for FOC. The FOC being a photon counting detector has zero read-out noise. Three output simulated images are produced: foc1int000.fits, foc1int060.fits & foc1int120.fits and three error images: foc1err000.fits, foc1err060.fits & foc1err120.fits

2. To produce a set of NICMOS simulated polarimetry images:

cl> hstpolsim inint="nic1int.fits" inpol="nic1pol.fits" inpopa="nic1pa.fits" instr="NICMOS" polname="POL0S" filtname="" PA_V3=30.0 instpoltab="" unback=1000.0 e_adu=12.8 read_noise=30.0 seed=11 outroot="nic1"

polname is specified as one of the short or longwavelength filters. filtername is not required since there are no separate colour filters for the polarimetry mode of NICMOS. Three output simulated images are produced: nic1int001.fits, foc1int116.fits & nic1int258.fits and three error images: nic1err001.fits, nic1err116.fits & nic1err258.fits

3. To produce a set of WFPC2 simulated polarimetry images:

cl> hstpolsim inint="wfc1int.fits" inpol="wfc1pol.fits" inpopa="wfc1pa.fits" instr="WFPC2" polname="POLQ" filtname="F555W" PA_V3=173.3 instpoltab="" unback=12.0 e_adu=7.1 read_noise=5.2 seed=1 outroot="wfc1"

Seven output simulated images are produced: wfc1int000.fits, wfc1int015.fits, wfc1int045.fits, wfc1int090.fits wfc1int102.fits, wfc1int117.fits & wfc1int135.fits and seven error images: wfc1err000.fits, wfc1err015.fits, wfc1err045.fits, wfc1err090.fits wfc1err102.fits, wfc1err117.fits & wfc1err135.fits

4. To produce a set of simulated polarimetry images for a non-HST instrument:

cl> hstpolsim inint="new1int.fits" inpol="new1pol.fits" inpopa="new1pa.fits" instr="SPECIAL" polname="" filtname="FILT1" PA_V3=0.0 instpoltab="" unback=50.0 e_adu=2.0 read_noise=4.1 seed=7 outroot="spec1"

polname is not used. filtname must correspond to the name of the filter in the table file. The number of simulated images depends on the number of entries in the table file. The integer value of the polarizer angle distinguishes the different output files. The header parameter FILTER provides the filter name and POLANG the polarizer angle.

Format of the Instrument specific table file

The STSDAS table file is a nine column file with the following
Name of colour/polarizing filter 
Position angle of polarizer filter
Normalised transmission parallel to polarizer axis 
Normalised transmission parallel to polarizer axis 
Reflectance of mirror E-vector parallel to surface 
Reflectance of mirror E-vector perpendicular to surface 
Retardance (deg.) of s wave relative to p wave  
Instrumental polarization (%) 
Position angle (deg.) of instrumental polarization (in instrument frame)

with the following column names and format: FILTER CH*16 POLANG R F6.2 TRANSPAR R E10.4 TRANSPER R E10.4 REFLECTRS R F6.4 REFLECTRP R F6.4 RETARDPHI R F8.4 INSTPOL R F6.2 INSTPA R F6.2


None known.


hstpolima, polimplot, polimodel, hstpolpoints