Precision Photometry via Man-made Light Sources, for Optical and for Microwave Astronomy

Apr 16, 2012, 4:40 PM


Intercalibration between systems Session 1D


Prof. Justin Albert (University of Victoria)


Understanding the properties of dark energy via SNIa will require unprecedented photometric precision. Laboratory and solar photometry and radiometry regularly achieve precisions on the order of parts in ten thousand, but photometric calibration for non-solar astronomy presently remains stuck at the percent or greater level. We discuss our project to erase this discrepancy, and our steps toward achieving laboratory-level photometric precision for surveys late this decade. In particular, I will show observations of the balloon-borne light source we are presently testing, in addition to previous work with a present calibrated source in low-Earth orbit. Our technique is additionally applicable to microwave astronomy. Observation of gravitational waves in the polarized CMB will similarly require unprecedented polarimetric and radiometric precision, and I will briefly discuss our plans for a calibrated microwave source payload as well.

Primary authors

Prof. Christopher Stubbs (Harvard University) Prof. Justin Albert (University of Victoria) Dr Keith Vanderlinde (McGill University) Prof. Matt Dobbs (McGill University) Mr Maxwell Fagin (Harvard Univ. / Dartmouth College) Dr Yorke Brown (Harvard Univ. / Dartmouth College)

Presentation materials