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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the simage software suite for the simulation of artificial extragalactic images, based empirically around real observations of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. 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, PSF, telescope mirror size, pixel resolution, field star density, and a variety of detector noise sources. It has the capability to create images with either a predetermined number of galaxies, or one calibrated to the number counts of preexisting data sets such as the HST COSMOS survey. In addition, simple options are included to add a known weak gravitational lensing signal ( both shear and flexion) to the simulated images. The software is available in IDL and can be freely downloaded for scientific, developmental, and teaching purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-954
Number of pages8
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number894
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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