Satellite-Mounted Light Sources as Photometric Calibration Standards

Albert, Justin
Foster, Kristie
Battat, James
Dupuis, Grace
Fransham, Kyle
Koopmans, Kristin
Jarrett, Michael
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A significant and growing portion of systematic error on a number of fundamental parameters in astrophysics and cosmology is due to uncertainties from absolute photometric and flux standards. A path toward achieving major reduction in such uncertainties may be provided by satellite-mounted light sources, resulting in improvement in the ability to precisely characterize atmospheric extinction, and thus helping to usher in the coming generation of precision results in astronomy. Toward this end, we have performed a campaign of observations of the 532 nm pulsed laser aboard the CALIPSO satellite, using a portable network of cameras and photodiodes, to precisely measure atmospheric extinction.
Comment: 7 pages, 2 figures, technology development white paper for the NAS Astro2010 Decadal Survey, and conference paper for the CALCON 2009 & AMOS 2009 conferences
Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics