The Simons Observatory: modeling optical systematics in the Large Aperture Telescope

Jon E. Gudmundsson, Patricio A. Gallardo, Roberto Puddu, Simon R. Dicker, Alexandre E. Adler, Aamir M. Ali, Andrew Bazarko, Grace E. Chesmore, Gabriele Coppi, Nicholas F. Cothard, Nadia Dachlythra, Mark Devlin, Rolando Dünner, Giulio Fabbian, Nicholas Galitzki, Joseph E. Golec, Shuay Pwu Patty Ho, Peter C. Hargrave, Anna M. Kofman, Adrian T. LeeMichele Limon, Frederick T. Matsuda, Philip D. Mauskopf, Kavilan Moodley, Federico Nati, Michael D. Niemack, John Orlowski-Scherer, Lyman A. Page, Bruce Partridge, Giuseppe Puglisi, Christian L. Reichardt, Carlos E. Sierra, Sara M. Simon, Grant P. Teply, Carole Tucker, Edward J. Wollack, Zhilei Xu, Ningfeng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present geometrical and physical optics simulation results for the Simons Observatory Large Aperture Telescope. This work was developed as part of the general design process for the telescope, allowing us to evaluate the impact of various design choices on performance metrics and potential systematic effects. The primary goal of the simulations was to evaluate the final design of the reflectors and the cold optics that are now being built. We describe nonsequential ray tracing used to inform the design of the cold optics, including absorbers internal to each optics tube. We discuss ray tracing simulations of the telescope structure that allow us to determine geometries that minimize detector loading and mitigate spurious near-field effects that have not been resolved by the internal baffling. We also describe physical optics simulations, performed over a range of frequencies and field locations, that produce estimates of monochromatic far-field beam patterns, which in turn are used to gauge general optical performance. Finally, we describe simulations that shed light on beam sidelobes from panel gap diffraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-837
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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