IRAC High Precision Photometry
IRACSIM: a software for simulating realistic Spitzer/IRAC observations of point sources
To download IRACSIM, go to 10.5281/zenodo.46270
We announce the first public release of IRACSIM, a software for simulating realistic Spitzer/InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) observations of point sources, including a fully functional exoplanet simulator. The program, written in IDL, uses a model of the Spitzer/IRAC system to create synthetic IRAC point source measurements, outputting FITS image (or image cube) files similar to those produced by the IRAC basic calibrated data (BCD) pipeline. The simulator model is built on three major components of Spitzer/IRAC behavior: (1) pointing, (2) imaging, and (3) Fowler sampling. The model is described in Appendix A of Ingalls et al. 2016, "Repeatability and Accuracy of Exoplanet Eclipse Depths Measured with Post-Cryogenic Spitzer". The exoplanet wrapper for IRACSIM features realtime access to the Exoplanets.org database of planetary system parameters. Its main job is to create model exoplanet phase curves as input light curves to the IRAC simulator. It uses the thermal phase variations model of Cowan & Agol (2011), and the transit (and eclipse) shape model of Mandel & Agol (2002), allowing for the effects of nonlinear limb darkening in the transit. The output of the program is a facsimile of the output of a real Spitzer/IRAC observation: a set of BCD image files and uncertainty files, with realistic FITS headers containing standard time and astrometry information that is correct for the simulated observation. The code also adds history items, comments, and new keywords that are specific to the simulation.