Detection and measurement from narrow-band tunable filter scans

D. Heath Jones*, Patrick L. Shopbell, Joss Bland-Hawthorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The past 5 years have seen a rapid rise in the use of tunable filters in many diverse fields of astronomy, through Taurus Tunable Filter (TTF) instruments at the Anglo-Australian and William Herschel Telescopes. Over this time we have continually refined aspects of operation and developed a collection of special techniques to handle the data produced by these novel imaging instruments. In this paper, we review calibration procedures and summarize the theoretical basis for Fabry-Perot photometry that is central to effective tunable imaging. Specific mention is made of object detection and classification from deep narrow-band surveys containing several hundred objects per field. We also discuss methods for recognizing and dealing with artefacts (scattered light, atmospheric effects, etc.), which can seriously compromise the photometric integrity of the data if left untreated. Attention is paid to the different families of ghost reflections encountered, and the strategies used to minimize their presence. In our closing remarks, future directions for tunable imaging are outlined and contrasted with the Fabry-Perot technology employed in the current generation of tunable imagers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-772
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Instrumentation: interferometers
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Methods: observational
  • Techniques: photometric


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