Creating archival sensitivity functions

Archival sensitivity functions for instruments can be created by combining multiple sensivity functions from different exposures at different grating tilts to get a wider wavelength coverage. The steps in this process are typically:

  1. Choose sensitivity functions for grating. The functions should have good wavelength coverage, and low airmass.

  2. Start with the bluest sensitivity function and translate the next function up/down to roughly match. One or both function may be truncated to fit.

  3. If the gap between sensitivity function isn’t smooth (for example on a detector boundary) a polynomial fit can be used to join them.

There are helper functions in $PYPEIT_DEV/sensfunc_archive/ intended to make this easier. See $PYPEIT_DEV/sensfunc_archive/ and $PYPEIT_DEV/sensfunc_archive/ for examples of how this was done for DEIMOS.

The DEIMOS archived sensitivity functions

Disclaimer: The DEIMOS archival sensitivity functions do not provide an absolute flux calibration. Instead, they are only intended to remove the instrumental response, providing a relative flux calibration up to some unknown normalization.

Creating DEIMOS stitched sensitivity functions for every grating

  1. Make sure you have up to date versions of the PypeIt and PypeIt Development Suite repositories from GitHub, and that PypeIt Installation is complete.

  2. Download the reduced slitless source images used to create Keck DEIMOS sensitivity functions from the PypeIt dev-suite Google Drive. The files are located under DEIMOS_Dev/Throughput/throughput_gdw/data_products/.

  3. Run the script. The below examples assumes the files were downloaded to a data_products directory and will create the archival sensitivity function files under sensfunc_files.

    mkdir sensfunc_files
    $PYPEIT_DEV/sensfunc_archive/ all data_products sensfunc_files

    The above creates spec1d files and sensfunc files from the reduced slitless source images. It then stitches those sensfunc files together to form sensfuncs that cover a wider wavelength range. This results in one stitched archival sensfunc for each grating (600ZD, 830G, 900ZD, 1200B, and 1200G).

    To stitch together already created sensfunc files use the --reuse option. The pre-stitch sensfunc files used to create the archival files are in the Google Drive under DEIMOS_Dev/sensfunc_stitch/pre_stitch_sensfuncs/

  4. Copy the results to the PypeIt repository.

    cd sensfunc_files
    cp keck_deimos_*.fits PypeIt/pypeit/data/sensfuncs/

How each DEIMOS sensitivity functions was built

The archived sensitivity functions for DEIMOS were created from raw data gathered from scripted standard star observations. These are slitless observations that PypeIt cannot reduce on its own, so they are reduced using IDL scripts from Greg Wirth.

Examples of this data can be found in the PypeIt dev-suite Google Drive Google Drive.


Contains raw data files from that year.


Contains the reduced data from IDL used to generate the sensitivity functions.

Converting the IDL reduced files to spec1d

In the PypeIt-development-suite repo, the script can create PypeIt spec1d files from the IDL output.

By default, this script splits the IDL output into two detectors (DET03 and DET07). Because the IDL output isn’t always even in length, it is neccessary to pass “pad” to the script. Alternatively the script can generate spec1d files by treating the IDL output as a mosaic (‘MSC03’) by passing “nosplit”:

For example, if the files from Google Drive was downloaded to a data_products directory. The below would create a spec1d_files directory with spec1d files created from the IDL output:

# Create two detector spec1d files
python $PYPEIT_DEV/dev_algorithms/fluxing/ data_products/extract spec1d_files pad

# Create a mosaic spec1d file
python $PYPEIT_DEV/dev_algorithms/fluxing/ data_products/extract spec1d_files nosplit

The current DEIMOS archival sensfuncs were created by splitting the output into two detectors using the “pad” parameter.

Creating the individual sensitivity functions

The individual DEIMOS sensitivity functions were created with the following pypeit_sensfunc input file (See Sensitivity Input File).

   multi_spec_det = 3,7
   algorithm = "IR"
   extrap_blu = 0.
   extrap_red = 0.

The sensitivity functions can be created in bulk using the script. Assuming the sensfunc input file above is named deimos_arxiv_sensfunc.sens, the below example will create individual sensfunc files for each matching 600ZD spec1d file and place them in the sens_files directory:

python $PYPEIT_DEV/dev_algorithms/fluxing/ spec1d_files/600ZD/ *2023jan17*.fits sens_files/600ZD deimos_arxiv_sensfunc.sens