MIRAGE JWST Data Simulator

The Multi-Instrument RAmp GEnerator tool, or MIRAGE, is a Python software package that creates simulated data for a significant subset of the science observing modes of NIRCam and NIRISS, as well as imaging mode with the JWST Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS).

Simulated data from MIRAGE can provide JWST observers with a deeper understanding of the quality and layout of JWST data. They can also help observers develop their own data processing workflows and practice analyzing JWST data before real data are available.

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Typical workflow

The most common way to use MIRAGE begins with an APT file. Mirage will ingest the APT file and produce an individual parameter file for each exposure. Working with each parameter file, in addition to several types of source catalogs, MIRAGE combines a scene of simulated astronomical sources with dark current data collected during ground testing to produce high fidelity simulated exposures. These data can then be processed through the JWST calibration pipeline in the same way as real observations.

Documentation and examples

A general overview of Mirage is provided in a JWST Proposal Planning Toolbox article.

Full documentation, including Installation instructions is available on Read The Docs.

The MIRAGE repository contains example Jupyter notebooks for each observing mode.

Figure 1. Mirage data simulations


Top: Portion of a simulated NIRCam image of the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Bottom: Simulated NIRCam WFSS exposure. The red dot indicates the position of the target on the detector.

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Originally published