Astronomical Image Simulation for Telescope and Survey Development

Benjamin M. Dobke, David E. Johnston, Richard Massey, F. William High, Matt Ferry, Jason Rhodes, R. Ali Vanderveld
2010 Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific  
We present the 'simage' software suite for the simulation of artificial extragalactic images, based empirically around real observations of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF). The simulations reproduce galaxies with realistic and complex morphologies via the modeling of UDF galaxies as shapelets. Images can be created in the B, V, i and z bands for both space- and ground-based telescopes and instruments. The simulated images can be produced for any required field size, exposure time, Point
more » ... Function (PSF), telescope mirror size, pixel resolution, field star density, and a variety of detector noise sources. It has the capability to create images with both a pre-determined number of galaxies or one calibrated to the number counts of pre-existing data sets such as the HST COSMOS survey. In addition, simple options are included to add a known weak gravitational lensing (both shear and flexion) to the simulated images. The software is available in Interactive Data Language (IDL) and can be freely downloaded for scientific, developmental and teaching purposes.
doi:10.1086/656016 fatcat:zcgpp63qbnfgzlm4pwx2pkuzwm