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Gravitational wave

Benchmarking simulated noise levels for NASA flagship telescopes

Natasha Latouf, Doctoral Student, Physics and Astronomy,received funding for the project: "Planetary Spectrum Generator: Benchmarking Simulated Noise Levels for NASA Flagship Telescopes."

For this project, Latouf is developing benchmarking telescope noise models and coronagraph instrument models. She is also developing higher functionality tools for the Planetary Spectrum Generator (PSG) user.

The PSG is an online radiative-transfer suite that computes synthetic transit spectra for a wide range of planetary atmospheres from several telescope/instrument configurations. Each atmosphere is constructed layer-by-layer, including information about pressure, temperature, molecular abundances, and aerosol abundance in the simulations.

This proposed work will result in a detailed study of the noise simulations within the observations of exoplanet transits performed by three major telescopes: Hubble Space Telescope, Nancy Grace Roman Telescope, and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It will also result in a PSG functionality that will allow internal configuration files to be saved in the JWST Estimated Time Calculator (ETC) workbook format. This proposed work will extend into benchmarking the coronography instrument model in PSG, as well.

Latouf received $7,000 from NASA for this project. This funding is renewable for three years, for a total of $21,000. Funding began in July 2022 and will end in July 2025.