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Title: Characterisation and optimisation of the Herschel-SPIRE imaging through simulations
Author: Sibthorpe, Bruce
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 0806
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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The Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) is one of the three instruments on-board the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, due for launch in 2008. SPIRE is a dual instrument comprising a photometer, and imaging Fourier transform spectrometer. This thesis deals with the design and operation of a software simulator for the SPIRE photometer. The simulator architecture and modelling methods are described, and the fidelity of its output verified. This simulation software is then used to optimise and characterise data from the SPIRE photometer. The optimum observing parameters are derived, in order to maximise observing efficiency, and data quality. The impact of uncorrelated 1/f noise on the extraction of sources of arbitrary scale is assessed, and quantified. This work is also extended to include the impact of uncorrected 1/f noise on observations of sources in a confused environment. These results provide important information regarding the quality of SPIRE photometer data for the planning of large survey observations. The simulator is also an active tool within the SPIRE Instrument Control Centre team, and its use in the selection of the SPIRE map making algorithm is described. This thesis also contains an analysis of observations of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant made with the Balloon-borne Large Aperture submillimetre Telescope (BLAST), an instrument based on the SPIRE photometer design. This analysis assesses the hypothesis that supernovae might be a significant dust formation mechanism in the universe, as proposed in recent literature. Results from this study suggest that this hypothesis may be correct, but that evidence from previous observations might in fact be upper limits to the total mass of dust, rather than an absolute measurement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available