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May 1, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.7 is available

Unnecessary calculation for space-based instruments that was crashing on some linux distributions.

April 29, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.6 is available

Fixes for JWST opto-mechanical capabilities.

April 28, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.5 is available

Debugging some failures on JWST opto-mechanical capabilities.

April 28, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.4 is available

More fine tuning of JWST opto-mechanical capabilities.

April 23, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.3 is available

More fine tuning of JWST opto-mechanical capabilities.

April 22, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.2 is available

Fixes the JWST data files for the opto-mechanical capabilities.

March 27, 2020: Large PhoSim LSST Survey available

A substantial survey simulation for the LSST Rubin Observatory with a series of exposures of differing observing conditions and configurations using PhoSim v5.1. It is being generated by A. Mahmood and M. Saleem and is available at the Bellarmine site using Open Science Grid resources. The data continues to accumulate.

January 5, 2020: PhoSim v5.2.1 is available

This version converges better in calculating optics deformations in some rare cases.

December 12, 2019: PhoSim v5.2 is available!

The seventeenth major release of the Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is completed, tagged, and validated. We are continuing to push towards a complete ab initio Monte Carlo simulation code of the physics of astronomical observations.

Major improvements in v5.2 are: 1) a complete ab initio physics simulation of cosmic rays and terrestrial particles, 2) an improved self-consistent atmosphere scattered moonlight/sunlight & absorption calculation, 3) a variety of simplified interface changes as well as new astronomical emission & reflection models, 4) continued refinement and updates to opto-mechanical simulation capabilities including and 5) the implementation of physical large angle scattering from surfaces.

Other v5.2 improvements include: additional options and updates to velocity saturation, capability of generated catalogs having offset center from telescope pointing useful for a data challenge mosaic, better background buffers for small chips, additional quadratic term for aspheres for some optical designs, updated sensor interactions positions in event files, mirrors allowed to rotate with respect to camera for perturbations, simpler generic telescope options, fixed visualizer for curved focal planes, RGB curves for eye model, update of colors to yale bright star catalog, big dipper example catalog, update to condor options, various optimization speed up for background generation, update to collisional airglow intensity, update to WIYN mirror deformation, Cousins filters for generic telescope, additional physics parameters in GUI, and implementation of remote sensing capabilities. In addition, as usual a variety of bug fixes and software standards/reorganization was also done.

You can download the new version at the tagged release page and follow the documentation through the main site. As always, please file tickets for bugs at the issue tracker page and feel free to email for anything else.

-JRP

October 3, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.7 is available

More CONDOR HPC system fixes.

September 28, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.6 is available

More CONDOR HPC system fixes.

September 26, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.5 is available

This patch fixes a number of issues related to running PhoSim with CONDOR HPC systems.

August 30, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.4 is available

This patch makes a simpler default generic telescope and improves the examples.

July 16, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.3 is available

This makes background simulation of smaller chips more efficient.

July 12, 2019: PhoSim v5.1.1 is available

This fixes the scaling of background buffers for faster background simulations.

June 14, 2019: PhoSim v5.1 is available!

The sixteenth major release of the Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is completed, tagged, and validated. We are continuing to push towards a complete ab initio Monte Carlo simulation code of the physics of astronomical observations.

One of the major improvements in this version is the new capability of using PhoSim's internal catalog generator to generate data challenges automatically. This is accomplished by the fact that the generated stars & galaxies are now repeatable. So different images taken at different times and different configurations (filter, airmass, etc.) will receive the same galaxies & stars with the same properties. So a series of images can be generated and combined in the same manner as in an observing campaign. This can all be done with only six commands as shown at the end of the PhoSim walkthrough.

Furthermore, the PhoSim internal catalog generator now has a variety of details to generate realistic images-- the stars have reasonable densities as a function of latitude and a variety of realistic SEDs, and the galaxies have reasonable densities, sizes & redshifts, complex morphologies (spirals, irregular), and realistic SEDs including color gradients. User-supplied catalogs can, of course, still be used for other representations of the Universe, and objects can be added to the internally generated catalogs.

Another major set of changes is the significant improvement of overall background simulation speed, which is often the slowest part of the simulation. We have simplified the background optimization options, so now there are simply 3 options to generate background: single photon, the standard approximation, and the quick background option.

Other improvements in v5.1 include: fixes of various possible memory leaks, work to unify atmosphere parameterization, implementation of the LSST collimated beam projector, various ghost optimization fixes, generalization of rayleigh scattering, interpixel capacitance, postpixel correlations, additional background validation, expansion to more asphere terms, update to HSC design, additional angle in 3-D galaxy models for edge on galaxies, fixes to deCam filters, fixes to background validation, better bright star optimization for space based telescopes, row/column lithography errors, various fixes to edge physics for glowing edge and expansion to include active region, and change of the default telescope to "generic".

You can download the new version at the tagged release page and follow the documentation through the main site. As always, please file tickets for bugs at the issue tracker page and feel free to email for anything else.

-JRP

May 1, 2019: PhoSim v5.0.5 is available

Fixes condor file submission issue.

April 12, 2019: PhoSim v5.0.4 is available

Fixes approximate WCS on rotated and offset chips.

March 27, 2019: PhoSim v5.0.3 is available

Fixes for a segmentation fault on certain systems.

March 25, 2019: A new library of PhoSim-compatible Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) is available.

The new Library of SEDs is available. We have adapted the extensive library at the Spanish Virtual Observatory and STScI into PhoSim formats and organized into a single tar file.

December 14, 2018: PhoSim v5.0.2 is available

Compiler flag issue has been fixed.

December 12, 2018: PhoSim v5.0 is available!

The fifteenth major release of the Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is completed, tagged, and validated. This contains a major fundamental upgrade (hence, v5.0) that we describe below as well as 150+ other changes.

We are continuing to push towards a complete pure ab initio Monte Carlo simulation code. To that end, this release contains a major upgrade where we have now fully represented the complete physics of the deformation of optics! Thus, PhoSim does a complete opto-mechanical simulation of any telescope. It uses the deformation of the three-dimensional mirror and lens shapes due to thermal changes and elastic, actuator, and gravitational forces to predict the exact surfaces of the optics prior to complete optical raytracing. The approach uses a number of novel numerical techniques and couples a number of physics modules. The environment is simulated as well as the response of the control system for active optics telescopes. It is implemented in a very efficient manner, and the calculation is fully multithreaded so you will barely notice a run-time speed change for chip-scale simulations. The complete detailed description is described in Peterson et al. 2019, ApJ 873, 98. Here is an example of the mirror control simulation.

Other physics improvements in v5.0 include: complete dome seeing physics, Milky Way structure of generated star catalog, repeatability in generic catalog production, improvements to weather modelling, sky brightness validation, and wind shake implementation. The usability improvements include the splitting of bright star between multiple cores, Hubble tuning fork/jupiter & moons examples, better multithreading efficiency, HA & Sidereal time in header, additional tabs in the GUI, more operation parameter in the GUI, more numerical parameters in the GUI, editing of instrument and site files in the GUI, implementation of Galileo's telescope, and updates to various telescopes/cameras. The full list is available on release notes page.

You can download the new version at the tagged release page and follow the documentation through the main site.

As always, please file tickets for bugs at the issue tracker page and feel free to email for anything else.

-JRP

October 3, 2018: PhoSim v4.0.4 is available

This patch fixes a bug in the sensor data of certain telescopes. In particular, the bug removed all photons from Subaru simulations.

August 22, 2018: PhoSim v4.0.3 is available

This patch fixes a bug in the segmentation of LSST wavefront sensors, and adds the hour angle and local sidereal time to the image header.

August 17, 2018: PhoSim v4.0.2 is available

This patch fixes a bug in dispersion at low altitudes, re-centers the OPD calculation for off-axis pointings, and unnecessary print statements when dust is on.

August 16, 2018: PhoSim v4.0.1 and v3.7.16 is available

These patches improve performance for large multithreaded environments.

June 8, 2018: PhoSim v4.0 is available!

The fourteenth major release of the Photon Simulator (PhoSim) is completed, tagged, and validated. Its called PhoSim v4.0. As the version number implies, it is probably the most significant upgrade for a number of reasons. There have been 400+ improvements and a number of major changes.

First, there is now a PhoSim GUI (Graphical User Interface)! This should be particularly helpful to busy new users as it is in general much more intuitive than reading pages of documentation. After compiling phosim, it is run simply with the command "phosim_gui". See the walkthrough pages.

Second, the required inputs has now been simplified to be nothing! Previously, a large number of parameters were required to describe pointing, sun/moon position, time, etc., but now these are entirely optional. You now can simply set any parameter that is important, and let PhoSim self-consistently calculate the rest or choose them from appropriate distributions. This applies to all parameters. So with no inputs, PhoSim will simply make a realistic typical observation. If you want to point at a particular ra/dec, just use those commands. If you want the Moon below the horizon, then add that in, but you will no longer have to figure out how to calculate what you consider to be nuisance parameters for your study.

Third, there are a few simple catalog options to make quick catalogs: a star grid option, a random star maker with correct brightnesses, a random galaxy maker with correct brightnesses/sizes/shapes, and an example using the Yale Bright Star Catalog. There is also integration with ds9 (by using --ds9) when PhoSim completes and integration with the PhoSim visualizer (by using --visualizer) when event files are made to look at the ray trajectories.

Finally, there have been a large number of technical improvements. Some of the important ones include: a series of complex galaxy morphology models and nebulae models, an ab initio atmospheric dispersion calculation, greater self-consistency of 3-d background & opacity calculations, fixes for wavelength & spatial dependence for background, time correlation of clouds, improvements for CMOS readout systems & alternative chip materials, options to calculate precession/nutation/aberration, and various updates to JWST NIRCAM, WIYN ODI, Subaru HSC, and LSST data. The full list is available on release notes page.

You can download the new version at the tagged release page and follow the documentation through the main site.

As always, please file tickets for bugs at the issue tracker page. We are currently expanding the GUI, so email me suggestions based on your experience.

-JRP

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