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The APEX calibration plan: goals, implementation, and achievements

Michael Dumke and Felipe Mac-Auliffe (European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile)


The quality of scientific data depends on the accuracy of the absolute intensity calibration. This absolute calibration is especially difficult in ground-based sub-mm astronomy. At the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), we take various measures in order to ensure a proper calibration of the final science product, including real-time efforts (e.g. pointing models) and dedicated measurements whose results are applied afterwards (e.g. opacity or efficiencies). In this presentation we will give an overview over the various steps taken at APEX to overcome most calibration challenges. We will explain their implementation as calibration plan, present an analysis of the results obtained, and discuss those results in view of the reliability of the released science product.

Keywords: APEX telescope, Calibration, Bolometer, Opacity, Heterodyne receiver, Sideband ratio

Copyright notice:
Michael Dumke and Felipe Mac-Auliffe, "The APEX calibration plan: goals, implementation, and achievements," Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III, edited by David R. Silva, Alison B. Peck, B. Thomas Soifer, Proc. SPIE 7037, 70371J (2010).

Copyright 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

Michael Dumke, 18 Nov 2011. Article © SPIE