Each individual pixel responds differently: “For a given amount of light, a pixel doesn’t generate exactly the same amount of current as its neighbours,” explains Laurent Boisnard, COROT System Manager. “We therefore have to factor in these individual responses when applying corrections to the data.” Checks also serve to detect any pixels showing an abnormally high or low response.
Waiting for 1st light
“That will be the 1st true test of the telescope’s overall performance, particularly the quality of its optical settings.” The moment of truth will come on 17 January when the cap on the sunshield designed to protect the satellite from stray terrestrial light is opened.
Like a jack-in-the-box
Crédits : CNES.
Once these final checks are completed, COROT should be all set to begin its 1st science observations in early February, less than 6 weeks after launch and exactly to the schedule initially announced.