CCD Data Taking Modes and Flatfielding Problems

  • S. Djorgovski
  • M. Dickinson
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUH, volume 8)


We briefly review some problems in the flatfielding of CCD images, in the context of three data-taking modes: stare, short scan, and drift scan. The principal sources of flatfielding imperfections are: (1) mismatch in the spectra of the astronomical sources of interest and the flatfleld illumination; (2) a variety of low-level additive errors; and (3) nonlinearities of the CCD response. Residual flatfielding errors are probably the limiting factor in high-precision astronomical photometry. Flatfielding accuracies of the order of 1 – 2% per pixel are commonly achieved; with some effort, accuracies of ~ 0.1% can be reached; higher accuracies require a substantial effort, or improvements in the quality of CCD chips. In general, scanning data taking modes outperform the “standard” stare mode.


Interference Fringe Poissonian Noise Flat Field Faint Star Faint Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baluteau, J.-P., and D’Odorico, S. (editors) 1986, Proceedings of the ESO-OHP Workshop on The Optimization of the Use of CCD Detectors in Astronomy, ESO Conference Proceedings No. 25.Google Scholar
  2. Baum, W., Thomsen, B., and Kreidl, T.J. 1981, Proc. S.P.I.E. 290, 24.Google Scholar
  3. Baum, W., Thomsen, B., and Morgan, B. 1986, Astrophys. J. 301, 83.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Djorgovski, S., and Spinrad, H. 1983, in Proceedings of the AAS/OSA Joint Topical Meeting on Information Processing in Astronomy and Optics, June 1983, St. Paul, Minn., p. ThB2-l. AAS/OSA publication.Google Scholar
  5. Djorgovski, S. 1984, in Proceedings of the Workshop on Improvements to Photometry, eds. W. Borucki and A. Young, p. 152. NASA CP-2350.Google Scholar
  6. Griffiths, R. 1985, STScI Newsletter, October 1985, p. 5.Google Scholar
  7. Hall, P., and Mackay, C. 1986, M.N.R.A.S. 210, 979.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Janesick, J., Elliot, T., Daud, T., and Campbell, D. 1986, Proc. S.P.I.E. 627, 543.Google Scholar
  9. Janesick, J., Campbell, D., Elliot, T., and Daud, T. 1987, Opt. Eng. 26, 852.ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Mackay, C. 1986, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 22, 255.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Stetson, P. 1988, DAO preprint; and this volume.Google Scholar
  12. Stetson, P., and Harris, W. 1988, Astron. J. 96, 909.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Tyson, J.A. 1988, Astron. J. 96, 1.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wright, J.F. 1982, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Astronomical Union 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Djorgovski
    • 1
  • M. Dickinson
    • 2
  1. 1.California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Astronomy DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations