The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) is a 6U NASA CubeSat carrying on board a low-resolution (R ∼ 2000 to 3000), near-UV (2500 to 3300 Å) spectrograph. It has a rectangular primary Cassegrain telescope to maximize the collecting area. CUTE, which is planned for launch in spring 2020, is designed to monitor transiting extra-solar planets orbiting bright, nearby stars, aiming at improving our understanding of planet atmospheric escape and star-planet interaction processes. We present here the CUTE data simulator, which we complemented with a basic data reduction pipeline. This pipeline will be then updated once the final CUTE data reduction pipeline is developed. We show here the application of the simulator to the HD209458 system and a first estimate of the precision on the measurement of the transit depth as a function of temperature and magnitude of the host star. We also present estimates of the effect of spacecraft jitter on the final spectral resolution. The simulator has been developed considering also scalability and adaptability to other missions carrying on board a long-slit spectrograph. The data simulator will be used to inform the CUTE target selection, choose the spacecraft and instrument settings for each observation, and construct synthetic CUTE wavelength-dependent transit light curves on which to develop the CUTE data reduction pipeline.
Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
- Pub Date:
- January 2019
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- Accepted for publication in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments and Systems