RASCAL Documentation

Wavelength calibration is the proess of modelling a spectrometer such that every pixel can be mapped to a wavelength. This is normally perfomred by either amnuially matching spectral peaks to a line atlas, of using cross-correlation with a known lamp spectrum.

Manual calibration is tedious, particularly for arc lamps with many emission lines. Cross-correlation or template matching methods are often built for specific instruments and make assumptions about the long term stability of the calibration lamp.

RANSAC- Assisted Spectral CALibration aims to produce a fit model automatically from an arc lamp spectrum with only minimal prior information. RASCAL is inspired by the method of Song (2018).

RASCAL is written in Python 3 and has minimal dependencies. It has be tested for the ASPIRED pipeline and with other scientific and commercial spectra.


How fast is it? RASCAL takes seconds to run.

How accurate do the initial conditions need to be? We usually assume 10-20% uncertainty in the dispersion and spectral range.

What sources does it work with? Anything. We have included the NIST lines by default.

What if I don’t know the lamp? Run RASCAL multiple times with different lammp options and inspect the outputs with the lowest errors.

Basic Usage

The bare minimum example code to to get a wavelength calibration:

import numpy as np
from scipy.signal import find_peaks
from astropy.io import fits

from rascal.calibrator import Calibrator
from rascal.util import refine_peaks

# Open the example file
spectrum2D = fits.open("filename.fits")[0].data

# Get the median along the spectral direction
spectrum = np.median(spectrum2D, axis=0)

# Get the spectral lines
peaks, _ = find_peaks(spectrum)

# Set up the Calibrator object
c = Calibrator(peaks)

# Load the Lines from library

# Solve for the wavelength calibration
best_polyfit_coefficient, rms, residual, peak_utilisation = c.fit()

# Produce the diagnostic plot
c.plot_fit(spectrum, best_polyfit_coefficient)

Some more complete examples are available in the Quickstart tutorial.

How to Use This Guide

To start, you’re probably going to need to follow the Installation guide to get RASCAL installed on your computer. After you finish that, you can probably learn most of what you need from the tutorials listed below (you might want to start with Quickstart and go from there). If you need more details about specific functionality, the User Guide below should have what you need.

We welcome bug reports, patches, feature requests, and other comments via the GitHub issue tracker.

User Guide

License & Attribution

Copyright 2019-2020

If you make use of RASCAL in your work, please cite our paper (arXiv, ADS, BibTeX).

Indices and tables