Scientific assessment of the quality of OSIRIS images

C. Tubiana, C. Guttler, G. Kovacs, I. Bertini, D. Bodewits, S. Fornasier, L. Lara, F. La Forgia, S. Magrin, M. Pajola, H. Sierks, C. Barbieri, P. L. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, H. U. Keller, J. Agarwal, M. F. A'Hearn, M. A. BarucciJ. L. Bertaux, S. Besse, S. Boudreault, G. Cremonese, V. Da Deppo, B. Davidsson, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, M. R. El-Maarry, M. Fulle, O. Groussin, P. Gutierrez-Marques, P. J. Gutierrez, N. Hoekzema, M. Hofmann, S. F. Hviid, W. H. Ip, L. Jorda, J. Knollenberg, J. R. Kramm, E. Kuhrt, M. Kuppers, M. Lazzarin, J. J. Lopez Moreno, F. Marzari, M. Massironi, H. Michalik, R. Moissl, G. Naletto, N. Oklay, F. Scholten, X. Shi, N. Thomas, J. B. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


OSIRIS, the scientific imaging system onboard the ESA Rosetta spacecraft, has been imaging the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and its dust and gas environment since March 2014. The images serve different scientific goals, from morphology and composition studies of the nucleus surface, to the motion and trajectories of dust grains, the general structure of the dust coma, the morphology and intensity of jets, gas distribution, mass loss, and dust and gas production rates. We present the calibration of the raw images taken by OSIRIS and address the accuracy that we can expect in our scientific results based on the accuracy of the calibration steps that we have performed. Methods. We describe the pipeline that has been developed to automatically calibrate the OSIRIS images. Through a series of steps, radiometrically calibrated and distortion corrected images are produced and can be used for scientific studies. Calibration campaigns were run on the ground before launch and throughout the years in flight to determine the parameters that are used to calibrate the images and to verify their evolution with time. We describe how these parameters were determined and we address their accuracy. Results. We provide a guideline to the level of trust that can be put into the various studies performed with OSIRIS images, based on the accuracy of the image calibration.

Original languageBritish English
Article numberA46
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Instrumentation: detectors
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Space vehicles: instruments


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