Release Notes

Known Issues

See for currently open issues and enhancement suggestions.

  • Calculations at large radii (> 500 lambda/D ~ 30 arcsec for 2 microns) will show numerical artifacts from Fourier aliasing and the implicit repetition of the pupil entrance aperture in the discrete Fourier transform. If you need accurate PSF information at such large radii, please contact Marshall Perrin or Marcio Melendez for higher resolution pupil data.

The following factors are NOT included in these simulations:

  • Coronagraphic masks are assumed to be perfect (i.e. the masks exactly match their design parameters.)

  • Most detector effects, such as intrapixel sensitivity variations or interpixel capacitance. There are currently no plans to include these WebbPSF itself. Generate a subsampled PSF and use a separate detector model code instead. The one exception is a scattering artifact in the MIRI imager detector substrate.

Road Map for Future Releases

  • Continued validation and updates as needed based on further analyses of instrument and telescope hardware test data.

  • Support for the NIRSpec and MIRI IFUs may be added in a future release; level of detail is still TBD.

Version History and Change Log

Version 0.9.1

2020 June 22

This minor release resolves several bugs and occasional installation issues and updates behind-the-scenes package infrastructure for consistency with current astropy and numpy releases. There are small improvements to a few aspects of JWST models as detailed below (in particular for wavelength dispersion in NIRCam LW coronagraphy and in tools for modeling time-dependent WFE) but the vast majority of JWST PSF calculations are not changed in any way.

There are no changes in reference data, so the WebbPSF reference data files for 0.9.0 should continue to be used with this release.

Python version support: Python 3.6+ required

This version drops support for Python 3.5. The minimum supported version of Python is now 3.6.

JWST Improvements

  • Apply wavelength dependent offsets for NIRCam coronagraphic PSFs due to the dispersion from the optical wedge in the coronagraphic pupil masks. This primarily affects the LW channel with approximately 0.015 mm/um dispersion. The SW channel is almost a factor of 10 smaller and mostly negligible, but has been included for completeness. [#347, @JarronL]

  • Improved models for OTE wavefront variations over time by adding utility functions for decomposing WFE models into piston, tip, tilt motions in the JWST control coordinate system, adding a model for frill-induced WFE drift, adding a model for IEC-heater-induced WFE drift, and adding an option to adjust amplitude of OTE backplane thermal drift model for B.O.L. vs E.O.L. expected amplitudes. [#340, @mperrin]

  • Add new aperturename attribute for JWST instruments which returns the SIAF aperture name used for transforming between the detector position and instrument field of view on the sky. [#360, @mperrin]. Releatedly, improves setting of detector geometry for NIRCam to automatically set the SIAF aperture name based on detector, filter, and coronagraph image mask and pupil mask settings. This can be turned off by setting auto_apname=False. [#351, @JarronL]

  • Add model for image jitter with JWST in coarse point mode under two different assumptions about LOS stability. This is relevant only for commissioning simulations. [#345, #346, @mperrin]

  • Documentation updates, in particular adding figures of JWST instrument internal wavefront error models. [#369, @mperrin]

General bug fixes and small changes:

  • Allow FGS detector to be set to GUIDER1 and GUIDER2, while still supporting old method of setting the detector (using FGS1 and FGS2) [#361, @mperrin]

  • Add allow_huge=True option to astropy.convolution.convolve_fft call when applying MIRI distortion so it can handle large arrays when calculating PSFs in very large FOV by using a higher resolution pupil and OPD. [#354, @obi-wan76]

  • Fixed bug that caused an error when plotting OPDs using the display_opd function [#362, @shanosborne]

  • Update default NIRSpec detector coordinates to be the S1600A1 square aperture coordinates in imaging mode, rather than an implausible location outside of the MSA field of view. [#348, @mperrin]

  • Updated Simulated OTE Mirror Move Demo notebook. [#343, @kjbrooks]

  • Improved the reproducibility of the thermal slew model with small updates to the update_opd and move_jsc_acf functions. [#339, @mperrin]

Software and Package Infrastructure Updates:

  • The minimum Python version is now 3.6. [#353, @mperrin]

  • Removed dependency on astropy-helpers sub-package [#337, @shanosborne]

  • Fixed problem that resulted in the otelm/ and tests/surs/ sub-directories not installing correctly. [#356, @shanosborne]

  • Removed python 3.5 testing and added python 3.8 testing in Travis continuous integration. [#352, @mperrin]

  • Documentation added and/or updated for a variety of features, including referencing the newly renamed Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly WFIRST). [#364, #360, #330, @shanosborne, mperrin]

Version 0.9.0

2019 November 25

Note, when upgrading to this version you will need to update to the latest data files as well. This is handled automatically if you use conda, otherwise you will need to download and install the data from: webbpsf-data-0.9.0.tar.gz.

JWST Improvements

  • Added a new capability to model the impact of thermal variations, from telescope slews relative to the sun, onto mirror alignments and therefore onto PSFs. This new thermal_slew method can be used to create a delta OPD for some elapsed time after the slew at either the maximum slew angle, some specified angle, or with a scaling factor applied to maximum case. Once combined with an input OPD (requirements or predicted), the new shape of the mirrors can be used to simulate predicted PSFs some time after a slew. See this Jupyter notebook for examples. [#269, @kjbrooks]

  • Improved wavefront error extrapolation method for field points near FOV corners that are outside the bounds of Zernike reference table data, in order to provide more seamless extrapolation. [#283, @JarronL]

  • Improvements in NIRCam optical model: Updated polynomial model for NIRCam defocus versus wavelength. Adds Zernike coefficients for the wavefront error at NIRCam coronagraphy field points. [#283, @JarronL]

  • NIRISS NRM mask was flipped along the X axis to match the as-built instrument and measured PSFs [#275, @KevinVolkSTScI, @anand0xff, @mperrin]

  • Updated FGS throughput values to use data from the instrument sub-level testing that was done by Comdev/Honeywell, detector quantum efficiency as measured by Teledyne, and the OTE throughput from Lightsey 2012. The throughput file was also updated to include the WAVEUNIT keyword, which removes a warning. [@shanosborne]]

WFIRST Improvements

  • The WFI optical model has been updated to use optical data from the Cycle 8 design revision. These include updated Zernike coefficients for field-dependent wavefront error, and masked and unmasked pupil images for each SCA, and updated filter throughputs (consistent with values used in Pandeia 1.4.2). The correct pupil file will automatically be selected for each calculation based on the chosen detector position and filter. The pupil files are consistent with those provided in the WFI cycle 8 reference information, but have been resampled onto a common pixel scale. See WFIRST instrument model details for more. [#309 @robelgeda]

  • Note, WFI’s filters have been renamed so they all begin with “F”; see the table here .

  • The WFI wavelength range has now been extended to cover the 0.48 - 2.0 µm range. [#309 @robelgeda]

  • Expanded ``psf_grid`` method’s functionality so it can also be used to make grids of WFIRST PSFs. Note that focal plane distortion is not yet implemented for WFIRST PSFs and so add_distortion keyword should not be used for this case. [#294, @shanosborne]

  • The WFIRST F062 filter bandpass red edge was corrected from 8000A to 7600A, and associated unit tests were updated to include F062 [#288, @robelgeda]

  • The WFI simulations now include the pointing jitter model, using the predicted WFI pointing stability of 14 milliarcseconds per axis. [#322, @mperrin]

General bug fixes and small changes:

  • Many improvements in the PSF Grid functionality for generating photutils.GriddedPSFModels:

    • New options in psf_grid to specify both/either the output filename and output directory location. See this Jupyter notebook for examples. [#294, @shanosborne]

    • sFfilenames when saving out a psf_grid FITS object which has it’s filename parameter set will now end with _det.fits instead of the previous _det_filt.fits [#294, @shanosborne]

    • Update added to utils.to_griddedpsfmodel where a 2-dimensional array input with a header containing only 1 DET_YX keyword can be turned into GriddedPSFModel object without error as it implies the case of a PSF grid with num_psfs = 1. [#294, @shanosborne]

    • Remove deletion of det_yx and oversamp keywords from psf_grid output to allow for easier implementation in certain cases. Normal case users will have extra keywords but will not change functionality [#291, @shanosborne]

    • Updated normalization of PSFs from psf_grid to be in surface brightness units, independent of oversampling in order to match the expectation of photutils.GriddedPSFModel. This is diferent than webbpsf’s default in which PSFs usually sum to 1 so the counts/pixel varies based on sampling. [#311, @mperrin]

    • Fix bug in how pupilopd keyword is saved and include extra keywords opd_file, opdslice, coronmsk, and pupil in the psf_grid output, both the GriddedPSFModel meta data and FITS object’s header [#284, #293, #299, @shanosborne]

  • The set_position_from_aperture_name method now correctly sets the detector position parameter in the science frame [#281, @shanosborne, @JarronL, @mperrin]

  • Fix OPD HDUList output from the as_fits method inside the OPD class to include the previously existing header information [#270 @laurenmarietta]

  • Added support for secondary mirror moves to the move_sur() method through the move_sm_local method [#295, @AldenJurling]

  • Remove units keyword from get_opd method, now the wave input needs to be a Wavefront object [#304, @shanosborne]

Software and Package Infrastructure Updates:

Version 0.8.0

2018 Dec 15

This release focused on software engineering improvements, rather than changes in any of the optical models or reference data. (In particular, there are NO changes in the reference data files; the contents of the WebbPSF version 0.8 data zip file are identical to the reference data as distributed for version 0.7. This version of WebbPSF will work with either of those interchangably.).

Python version support: Python 3 required

This version drops support for Python 2.7. The minimum supported version of Python is now 3.5.

New functionality:

  • Added new capability to create grids of fiducial, distorted PSFs spanning a chosen instrument/detector. This new psf_grid method is meant to be used as the first step of using the photutils package to do PSF-fitting photometry on simulated JWST PSFs. This method will output a list of or single photutils GriddedPSFModel object(s) which can then be read into photutils to apply interpolation to the grid and simulate a spatially dependent PSF anywhere on the instrument. See this Jupyter notebook for examples. This method requires photutils version 0.6 or higher. [#241, _, @shanosborne with inputs from @mperrin, @larrybradley, @hcferguson, and @eteq]

Bug fixes and small changes:

  • Improved the application of distortion to PSFs to allow distorted PSFs to be created when the output mode is set to only “oversampled” or only “detector-sampled.” When either of these modes is set in the options dictionary, the output will be an HDUList object with two extensions, where the 1st extension is the same PSF as in the 0th extension but with distortion applied. [#229, _, @shanosborne]

  • Also fixed distorted PSFs which were shifted off-center compared to their undistorted counterparts. These distorted PSFs had always been created in the correct detector location, but the values in the array returned by calc_psf were shifted off from the center. This bug was particularly apparent when the PSFs were set with a location near the edge of the detector. [#219, _, @shanosborne]

  • Fix FITS output from JWST OTE linear model, plus typo fixes and PEP8 improvements [#232, @laurenmarietta]

  • Display code added for the PSF grid functionality mentioned above [#247, @mperrin]

Software and Package Infrastructure Updates:

  • Removed Python 2.7 compatibility code, use of six and 2to3 packages, and Python 2 test cases on Travis (#236, #239, @mperrin, @kjbrooks]

  • Packaging re-organized for consistency with current STScI package template (#240, @robelgeda)

  • Documentation template updated for consistency with current STScI docs template (#250, @robelgeda)

  • Documentation added or updated for a variety of features [#248, @mperrin]

  • Various smaller code cleanup and doc improvements, including code cleanup for better Python PEP8 style guide compliance [#227, #255, @shanosborne]

  • Updated to newer syntax for specifying pupil shifts of optical elements [#257, @mperrin]

  • Unit tests added for defocused instruments, including the NIRCam weak lenses [#256, @mperrin]

  • Updated astropy-helpers submodule to 3.0.2 [#249, @mperrin]

  • Software development repo on Github shifted to within the spacetelescope organization.

Version 0.7.0

2018 May 30

Note, when upgrading to this version you will need to update to the latest data files as well. This is handled automatically if you use conda, otherwise you will need to download and install the data from: webbpsf-data-0.7.0.tar.gz.

Python version support: Future releases will require Python 3.

Please note, this is the final release of WebbPSF to support Python 2.7. All future releases will require Python 3.5+. See here for more information on migrating to Python 3.

Deprecated function names will go away in next release.

This is also the final release of WebbPSF to support the older, deprecated function names with mixed case that are not compatible with the Python PEP8 style guide (e.g. calcPSF instead of calc_psf, etc). Future versions will require the use of the newer syntax.


  • Improved numerical performance in calculations using new accelerated math functions in poppy. It is highly recommended that users install the numexpr package, which enables significant speed boosts in typical propagations. numexpr is easily installable via Anaconda. Some use cases, particularly for coronagraphy or slit spectroscopy, can also benefit from GPU acceleration. See the latest poppy release notes for more.

JWST optical model improvements:

  • Models of field-dependent wavefront error are now included for all the SIs. The OPD information is derived from the ISIM CV3 test campaign at Goddard, as described extensively in David Aronstein et al. “Science Instrument Wavefront Error and Focus: Results Summary from the ISIM Cryogenic Vacuum Tests:”, JWST-RPT-032131. (See also the SPIE paper version.) The measured SI wavefront errors are small, some tens of nanometers, and are in general less than the telescope WFE at given location. This information on SI WFE is provided to help inform modeling for what potential variations in PSFs across the field of view might look like, in broad trends. However it should _not_ be taken as precise guarantee of the exact amplitudes or functional form of those variations. The WFE was measured at a small handful of particular field points during CV3, and the resulting Zernike coefficients are interpolated to produce _estimated_ wavefront maps at all other field points across the focal planes. Density and precision of the available measurements vary substantially between instruments. [@mperrin, with contributions from @josephoenix in prior releases, and from @robelgeda and @JarronL for the interpolation between field points. [#121, #187]

  • Added new capabilities for modeling distortions of the image planes, which cause slight deflections in the angles of diffractive features. The result of geometric distortion is that detector pixels are not ideal square sections of the sky; they’re slightly skewed parallelograms. (See the ACS handbook for examples of what this looks like for Hubble PSFs) For the JWST instruments, this effect is largest for FGS, and fairly small but noticeable for the other SIs. See this Jupyter notebook for examples of the effect on JWST PSFs. Note that the distorted PSFs are added as additional extensions in the output FITS file, so you will need to read from extension 2 or 3 if you want the PSF with the distortion included; extensions 0 and 1 remain consistent with prior versions. The distortion information is taken from the Science Instrument Aperture file (SIAF) reference data maintained at STScI. As a result the pysiaf package is a new dependency required for using webbpsf. The distortion calculations can add 1-3 seconds to each PSF calculation, and double the size of the output FITS files; if modeling distortion is not needed for your use case, you can deactivate this by setting add_distortion=False in calls to calc_psf. [ #209, @shanosborne]

  • Added small nonzero pupil shears for most instruments, based on measurements from the ISIM CV3 and OTIS cryo tests, adjusted for gravity release to produce predicted on-orbit pupil shears. See JWST-RPT-028027 and JWST-RPT-037134. For most imaging mode PSFs, this has _no_ practical effect because the SI internal pupils are oversized to provide tolerance, and the measured shears are well below that amount. It has a small but nonzero effect for long-wave NIRISS filters with the CLEARP pupil obscuration. The greatest effect is for MIRI coronagraphy since MIRI’s Lyot stops were not undersized to allow for pupil shear, but even so the impact is small for the < 1% expected shift. Note that for NIRCam, the expected pupil shear is set to precisely zero, given the expectation that NIRCam’s steerable pickoff mirror will be used in flight to achieve precise pupil alignment. [#212,, @shanosborne, with inputs from Melendez, Telfer, and Hartig]

  • For MIRI only, added new capability for modeling blurring due to scattering of light within the MIRI imager detector substrate itself. This acts as a cross-shaped convolution kernel, strongest at the shortest wavelengths. See MIRI document MIRI-TN-00076-ATC for details on the relevant physics and detector calibration. This is implemented as part of the distortion framework, though it is different physics. See this Jupyter notebook for example output. For F560W through F1000W this is a much more obvious effect than the subtle distortions. [#209,, @shanosborne]

  • Added new capabilities for modeling mirror moves of the JWST primary segments and secondary mirror, using a linear optical model to adjust OPDs. Added a new notebook demonstrating these capabilities. Note this code allows simulation of arbitrary mirror motions within a simplified linear range, and relies on user judgement what those mirror motions should be; it is not a detailed rigorous optomechanical model of the observatory. [Code by @mperrin, with some fixes by Geda in <#185]

  • All the instrument+filter relative spectral response functions have been updated to values derived from the official validated JWST ETC reference data, using the Pandeia ETC release version 1.2.2. [@mperrin]

WFIRST optical model improvements:

  • The WFI optical model has been updated to use optical data from the Cycle 7 design revision for WFI. This includes a change in the instrument field of view layout relative to the axes, as shown here. [#184, @robelgeda]

  • Added R062 filter.

  • Updated pupil_mask attribute for toggling between the masked and non-masked pupils now works the same way as that attribute does for the JWST instrument classes. Note, most users will not need to deal with this manually as the WFI class will by default automatically select the correct pupil based on the selected filter. [#203, @robelgeda]

Bug fixes and minor changes:

  • All JWST instruments: Added new feature for importing OPD files produced with the JWST Wavefront Analysis System software [#208, @skyhawk172]

  • All JWST instruments: Fix to generalize OPD loading code to handle either compressed or uncompressed OPDs [#173, @JarronL]

  • All JWST instruments: Fix to properly load the default number of wavelengths per calculation from the filters.tsv file, rather than defaulting to 10 wavelengths regardless. [@shanosborne])

  • All JWST instrument: Fix to more correctly handle non-integer-pixel positions of the PSF when writing DET_X and DET_Y header keywords (#205, @shanosborne]

  • NIRCam and MIRI coronagraphy: Automatically set the detector coordinates and SI WFE maps based on the location of a selected coronagraph occulter. [#181, @mperrin]

  • NIRCam coronagraphy: Fix a sign error in offsets for the NIRCam coronagraph SWB occulters [#172, @mperrin].

  • NIRCam coronagraphy: Fix a half-percent throughput error in the round occulter masks [#206, @mperrin]

  • NIRCam coronagraphy: Fix an issue with transmission of the coronagraph bars precisely along the y axis, due to a typo [#190, @JarronL]

  • NIRCam coronagraphy: New option for shifting the coronagraph masks relative to the source, rather than vice versa. This is mostly of use for edge cases such as PSF library generation for the ETC, and is probably not of widespread utility. [#191, @mperrin]

  • NIRISS: Fix the pupil_rotation option so it works for NIRISS too, in particular for NRM/AMI. [#118, @mperrin]

  • NIRSpec: Very incomplete initial rudimentary support for the NIRSpec IFU, specifically just implementing the field stop for the IFU aperture. [@mperrin]

  • Updated to newer version of the astropy_helpers package infrastructure [@sosey]

  • Various smaller code cleanup and doc improvements, including code cleanup for better Python PEP8 style guide compliance [@mperrin, @shanosborne, @robelgeda, @douglase]

  • The utils.system_diagnostic function now checks and reports on a few more things that might be useful in diagnosing performance issues.

Version 0.6.0

2017 August 11

JWST optical models:

  • Substantial update to the optical models for the telescope, to incorporate measurements of the as-built optics plus the latest expectations for alignments in flight. The reference data layout has changed: each instrument now includes only two OPD files, a predicted and a requirements OPD. Ex: OPD_RevW_ote_for_NIRCam_predicted.fits.gz. The OPD files are now derived from measured flight mirror surfaces (for high spatial frequencies), plus statistical models for their alignment in flight following wavefront sensing and control (for mid and lower spatial frequencies), as described in JWST Instrument Model Details. Each OPD file still contains 10 different realizations of the statistical part.

  • The NIRISS auto_pupil feature now recognizes that the CLEAR filter is used with the GR700XD pupil mask [#151]

  • Correctly convert wavelengths to microns when computing NIRISS ZnS index of refraction [#149]

  • Aperture definitions now come from a copy of the SIAF bundled in jwxml rather than in the WebbPSF reference data.

  • An alpha version of a linear optical model for adjusting OPDs is now provided for power-users, but currently unsupported and not documented.

WFIRST optical models:

  • Addition of a model for the WFIRST CGI (Coronagraph Instrument) shaped pupil coronagraph by @neilzim [#154]


  • Jitter is now enabled by default (approximated by convolution with 0.007 arcsec FWHM Gaussian)

  • Source offsets can now be specified as source_offset_x and source_offset_y in instrument.options (in addition to the existing instrument.options[‘source_offset_r’] and instrument.options[‘source_offset_theta’])

  • The Astropy Helpers have been updated to v2.0.1 to fix various install-time issues.

Version 0.5.1

Released 2016 November 2. Bug fix release to solve some issues that manifested for AstroConda users.

  • Fixed a few missed version number->0.5.0 edits in install docs

  • Updated install instructions for Ureka->Astroconda change

  • Clarified release instructions for data packages

  • Fixed ConfigParser import in

  • Documented PSF normalization options better. (#112)

  • Updated Travis-CI config, consistent with poppy#187

  • Made a display tweak for the primary V2V3 annotation

  • Removed redundant calcPSF in favor of just using the superclass calc_psf (#132)

  • Updated measure_strehl to turn off SI WFE for perfect PSF calcs

  • Enforced Python 3.0+ compliance on code with __future__ imports

  • Used six.string_types for Python 3.x compliance

  • Add version specs to dependencies in

  • Made jwxml a dependency in

Version 0.5.0

Released 2016 June 10. Various updates to instrument properties, improved documentation, and overhaul of internals in preparation for measured WFE data on JWST SIs.

JWST updates:

  • New documentation on JWST Instrument Model Details

  • Updated all JWST SI pixel scales to latest measured values from ISIM CV3 and STScI Science Instruments Aperture File.

  • Add coordinate inversion to get the correct (inverted) orientation of the OTE exit pupil relative to the ISIM focal plane. This will show up as an extra intermediate optical plane in all PSF calculations from this point, with the OTE pupil obscuration flipped upside down in orientation relative to the entrance pupil.

    • As a consequence of this, many optical planes displayed will now look “upside down” relative to prior versions of WebbPSF. This affects all coronagraphic Lyot masks for instance, the NIRISS CLEARP and NRM pupils, etc. This is as intended, and reflects the actual orientation of those optics in the internal pupil planes relative to a detector image that has been oriented to have +V3 up and +V2 left (e.g. ‘SCI’ frame orientation on the sky, with north up and east left if the position angle is zero).

  • Added software infrastructure for using measured instrument WFE from ISIM cryo-tests - however the data files are not yet ready and approved. This functionality will be fully activated in a near-future release (later this summer).

  • Added attributes for detector selection and pixel positions to all SIs, backed with latest science instrument aperture file mapping between detector pixels and angular positions on the JWST focal plane.

  • Improved automatic toggling based on selected filter of instrument properties such as NIRCam short/long channel and pixel scales, and NIRISS and MIRI pupil masks.

  • Thanks to Kyle van Gorkom, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, John Stansberry, Colin Cox, Randal Telfer, and George Hartig for assisting with information and data to support these updates.

WFIRST updates:

  • Updated to GSFC Cycle 6 modeling results for WFI.

  • Some behind-the-scenes refactoring to implementation details for field dependent WFE to support code sharing between the JWST and WFIRST classes.

  • Thanks to Alden Jurling for assisting with information and clarifications on the Cycle 6 models.


  • New Python PEP8 style guide compliant names have been added for most function calls, e.g. calc_psf instead of calcPSF, display_psf instead of display_PSF and so forth. For now these are synonymous and both forms will work. The new styling is preferred and at some future point (but not soon!) the older syntax may be removed.

Version 0.4.1

Released 2016 April 04. Mostly minor bug fixes, plus some updates to better match orientations of output files.

  • Fix an bug that ignored the rotation of the MIRI coronagraph occulters, introduced by changes in poppy 0.4.0; (#91; @kvangorkom, @josephoenix, @mperrin) and also flip the sign of that rotation from 4.5 degrees counterclockwise to 4.5 clockwise, to match the actual hardware (#90; @kvangorkom, @josephoenix, @mperrin)

  • Also flip orientations of some NIRCam coronagraphic masks and improve modeling of NIRCam coronagraph ND squares and occulter bar mounting hardware (#85; @mperrin); and remove two obsolete filter data files that don’t correspond to any actual filters in NIRCam.

  • Relocate measure_strehl function code into webbpsf (#88; Kathryn St.Laurent, @josephoenix, @mperrin)

  • Other minor bug fixes and improved error catching (#87; @mperrin) (#95; @mperrin) (#98; @josephoenix) (#99; @mperrin)

  • Better document how to make monochromatic PSFs (#92; @mperrin) and fix broken link in docs (#96; @josephoenix).

Version 0.4.0

Released 2015 November 20

  • WFIRST WFI support added:

    • including all WFI filters and filter-dependent pupil masks.

    • including field dependence based on GSFC Cycle 5 modeling (#75, @josephoenix)

    • including initial/prototype GUI interface based on Jupyter/IPython notebook widgets (#79, @josephoenix)

  • Updated filter transmission files for MIRI (based on Glasse et al. 2015 PASP) and NIRISS (based on flight filter measurement data provided by Loic Albert). (#66, #78; @mperrin)

  • Added utility to check for appropriate version of the data files and request an update if necessary (#76, @josephoenix)

  • Some documentation updates, including new documentation for the WFIRST functionality (@josephoenix, @mperrin)

  • Bug fixes for minor issues involving OPD file units (#74, @josephoenix), cleaner logging output, and some Python 3 compatibility issues.


When updating to version 0.4 you will need to also update your WebbPSF data files to the latest version as well.

Version 0.3.3

Released July 1, 2015

  • Python 3 compatibility added. All tests pass on Python 3.4. (#2)

  • Fixed an issue that would prevent users from adding defocus to PSF calculations

  • WebbPSF no longer attempts to display a welcome message on new installs; that idea proved to be less helpful than originally expected.

  • Added a CLEAR filter option for NIRISS, since the corresponding clear position is actually in the filter wheel rather than the pupil mask wheel. Rather than an actual filter, the profile for CLEAR is 1.0 between 0.6 microns and 5.0 microns per the stated limits of the detector, and 0.0 everywhere else. (#64)

  • Multi-wavelength calculations across a filter were not choosing a sensible number of wavelengths from the tables included in webbpsf-data. (#68)

Version 0.3.2

Released February 23, 2015

This is a bug-fix release to address an issue that rendered the GUI unusable. (See #55.) API usage was unaffected.

(Ask not what happened to 0.3.1.)

Version 0.3.0

Released 2015 February

This is a major release of WebbPSF, with several additions to the optical models (particularly for slit and slitless spectroscopy), and extensive software improvements and under-the-hood infrastructure code updates. Many default settings can now be customized by a text configuration file in your home directory.

Updates to the optical models:

  • Initial support for spectroscopy: NIRSpec fixed slit and some MSA spectroscopy, MIRI LRS spectroscopy (for both slit and slitless modes), and NIRISS single-object slitless spectroscopy. To model one of these modes, select the desired image plane stop (if any) plus the pupil plane stop for the grating. WebbPSF does not yet include any model for the spectral dispersion of the prisms, so you will want to perform monochromatic calculations for the desired wavelengths, and coadd the results together yourself into a spectrum appropriately. For example:

    >> nirspec.image_mask = 'S200A1'
    >> nirspec.pupil_mask = 'NIRSpec grating'
    >> monopsf = nirspec.calcPSF(monochromatic=3e-6, fov_arcsec=3)
    >> miri.image_mask = 'LRS slit'
    >> miri.pupil_mask = 'LRS grating'
    >> miripsf = miri.calcPSF(monochromatic=10e-6)
    >> niriss.pupil_mask = 'GR700XD'
    >> monopsf = niriss.calcPSF(monochromatic=1.5e-6, oversample=4)

    In fact the NIRSpec class now automatically defaults to having the NIRSpec grating pupil stop as the selected pupil mask, since that’s always in the beam. For MIRI you must explicitly select the ‘LRS grating’ pupil mask, and may select the ‘LRS slit’ image stop. For NIRISS you must select the ‘GR700XD’ grating as the pupil mask, though of course there is no slit for this one.

    Please note This is new/experimental code and these models have not been validated in detail against instrument hardware performance yet. Use with appropriate caution, and we encourage users and members of the instrument teams to provide input on how this functionality can be further improved. Note also that MIRI MRS and NIRSpec IFU are still unsupported.

    Thanks to Loic Albert (U de Montreal) and Anand Sivaramakrishnan for data and many useful discussions on NIRISS SOSS. Thanks to Klaus Pontoppidan for proposing the NIRSpec and MIRI support and useful discussions. Thanks to Erin Elliott for researching the NIRSpec grating wheel pupil stop geometry, and Charles Lajoie for information on the MIRI LRS pupil stop.

  • Added NIRISS CLEARP pupil mask; this includes the obscuration from the pupil alignment reference. Given the pupil wheel layout, this unavoidably must be in the beam for any NIRISS long-wave PSFs, and WebbPSF will automatically configure it in the necessary cases. Thanks to Anand Sivaramakrishnan.

  • Minor bug fix to weak lens code for NIRCam, which previously had an incorrect scaling factor. Weak lens defocus values updated to the as-built rather than ideal values (which differ by 3%, but the as built values are very well calibrated).

  • Added defocus option to all instruments, which can be used to simulate either internal focus mechanism moves or telescope defocus during MIMF. For example, set

    >> nircam.options['defocus_waves']=3
    >> nircam.options['defocus_wavelength']=2.0e-6

    to simulate 3 waves of defocus at 2 microns, equivalently 6 microns phase delay peak-to-valley in the wavefront.

  • Added new option to offset intermediate pupils (e.g. coronagraphic Lyot stops, spectrograph prisms/grisms, etc) in rotation as well as in centering:

    >> niriss.options['pupil_rotation'] = 2  # degrees counterclockwise
  • Added support for rectangular subarray calculations. You can invoke these by setting fov_pixels or fov_arcsec with a 2-element iterable:

    >> nc = webbpsf.NIRCam()
    >> nc.calcPSF('F212N', fov_arcsec=[3,6])
    >> nc.calcPSF('F187N', fov_pixels=(300,100) )

    Those two elements give the desired field size as (Y,X) following the usual Python axis order convention. This is motivated in particular by the rectangular subarrays used in some spectroscopic modes.

Other Software Updates & Enhancements:

  • Required Python modules updated, now with dependency on astropy:

    • replaces pyfits for FITS I/O.

    • replaces asciitable for ASCII table I/O.

    • atpy is no longer required.

    • New astropy.config configuration system is used for persistent settings. This includes saving accumulated FFTW ‘wisdom’ so that future FFT-based calculations will begin more rapidly.

    • lxml now required for XML parsing of certain config files

    • psutil strongly recommended for cross-platform detection of available free RAM to enable better parallelization.

  • Improved packaging infrastructure. Thanks to Christine Slocum, Erik Bray, Mark Sienkiewicz, Michael Droetboom, and the developers of the Astropy affiliated package template. Thanks in particular to Christine Slocum for integration into the STScI SSB software distribution.

  • Improvements to parallelization code. Better documentation for parallelization. PyFFTW3 replaced with pyFFTW for optimized FFTs (yes, those are two entirely different packages).

  • Alternate GUI using the wxpython widget toolkit in place of the older/less functional Tkinter tool kit. Thanks to Klaus Pontoppidan for useful advice in wxpython. This should offer better cross-platform support and improved long term extensibility. The existing Tkinter GUI remains in place as well.

    • The calculation options dialog box now has an option to toggle between monochromatic and broadband calculations. In monochromatic mode, the “# of wavelengths” field is replaced by a “wavelength in microns” field.

    • There is also an option to toggle the field of view size between units of arcseconds and pixels.

    • Log messages giving details of calculations are now displayed in a window as part of the GUI as well.

    • The wx gui supports rectangular fields of view. Simply enter 2 elements separated by a comma in the ‘Field of view’ text box. As a convenience, these are interpreted as (X,Y) sizes. (Note that this is opposite of the convention used in the programming interface noted above; this is potentially confusing but seems a reasonable compromise for users of the webbpsf GUI who do not care to think about Python conventions in axis ordering. Comments on this topic are welcome.)

  • Improved configuration settings system. Many settings such as default oversampling, default field of view size, and output file format can now be set in a configuration file for persistence between sessions. So if you always want e.g. 8x oversampling, you can now make that the default. An example configuration file with default values will be created automatically the first time you run webbpsf now, including informative comments describing possible settings. This file will be in your astropy config directory, typically something like “~/.astropy/config”.

    • New ‘Preferences’ dialog allows changing these persistent defaults through the GUI.

  • New function webbpsf.setup_logging() adds some more user-friendliness to the underlying python logging system. This includes persistent log settings between sessions. See updated documentation in the webbpsf page.

  • The first time it is invoked on a computer, WebbPSF will display a welcome message providing some information of use to new users. This includes checking whether the requisite data files have been installed properly, and alerting users to the location of the configuration file, among other things.

  • Refactoring of instrument class and rebalancing where the lines between WebbPSF and POPPY had been blurry.

  • Some bugfixes in the example code. Thanks to Diane Karakla, Anand Sivaramakrishnan, Schuyler Wolff.

  • Various updates & enhancements to this documentation. More extensive documentation for POPPY now available as well. Doc theme derived from astropy.

  • Improved unit test suite and test coverage. Integration with Travis CI for continuous testing:

  • Updated to astropy package helpers framework 0.4.4

Version 0.2.8

Released May 18, 2012

  • Repaired functionality for saving intermediate opticals planes

  • Coronagraph pupil shear shifts now use scipy.ndimage.shift instead of numpy.roll to avoid wrapping pixels around the edge of the array.

  • Significant internal code reorganizations and cleanup:

    • switched package building to use setuptools instead of distutils/stsci_distutils_hack

    • poppy now installed as a separate package to more easily allow direct use.

    • new Instrument class in poppy provides much of the functionality previously in JWInstrument, to make it easier to model generic non-JWST instruments using this code.

    • Better packaging in general, with more attention to public/private API consistency

    • Built-in test suite available via python test

  • Minor fix to MIRI ND filter transmission curve (Note: MIRI ND data is available on internal STScI data ditribution only)

  • Binset now specified when integrating across bandpasses in pysynphoteliminating a previous warning message for that calculation.

  • Stellar spectra are now by default drawn from the PHOENIX models catalog rather than the Castelli & Kurucz 2004 models. This is because the PHOENIX models have better spectral sampling at mid-infrared wavelengths.

  • Default centroid box sizes are now consistent for measure_centroid() and the markcenter option to display_PSF(). (Thanks to Charles Lajoie for noting the discrepancy)

  • TFI class (deprecated in version 0.2.6) now removed.

Version 0.2.7

Released December 6, 2011

  • Bug fix for installation problems in previous release 0.2.6 (thanks to Anand Sivaramakrishnan and Kevin Flaherty for bringing the problem to my attention).

  • Updated FITS keywords for consistency with JWST Data Management System (DMS) based on DMS Software Design Review 1.

    • “PUPIL” keyword now is used for pupil mechanisms instead of OTE pupil intensity filename; the filename is available in “PUPILINT” now, for consistency with the OPD filename in “PUPILOPD” now.

    • “CORONMSK” instead of CORON

    • Some minor instrument-specific FITS keywords added via new _instrument_fits_header() functions for each instrument object.

    • For instance, NIRCam PSFs now have “MODULE” and “CHANNEL” keywords (eg. “MODULE = A”, “CHANNEL = Short”). Note that there is no optical difference between modules A and B in this version of webbpsf.

  • Added support for weak lenses in NIRCam. Note that the +4 lens is in the filter wheel and is coated with a narrowband interference filter similar to but wider than F212N. WebbPSF currently does not model this, and will let you simulate weak lens observations with any filter you want. As always, it’s up to the user to determine whether a given webbpsf configuration corresponds to an actual physically realizable instrument mode.

Version 0.2.6

Released November 7, 2011

  • Updated & renamed TFI -> NIRISS.

    • Removed etalon code.

    • Added in filters transmissions copied from NIRCam

    • Removed coronagraphic Lyot pupils. Note: the coronagraphic occulting spots are machined into the pickoff mirror so will still fly, and thus are retained in the NIRISS model.

    • Slitless spectroscopy not yet supported; check back in a future version.

    • Fix to FITS header comments for NIRISS NRM mask file for correct provenance information.

    • TFI class still exists for back compatibility but will no longer be maintained, and may be removed in a future version of webbpsf.

  • Strehl measurement code caches computed perfect PSFs for improved speed when measuring many files.

  • Added GUI options for flat spectra in F_nu and F_lambda. (Thanks to Christopher Willmer at Steward Observatory for this suggestion)

  • “display_psf” function renamed to “display_PSF” for consistency with all-uppercase use of PSF in all function names.

  • numpy and pylab imports changed to ‘np’ and ‘plt’ for consistency with astropy guidelines (

  • library updates (thanks to Anand Sivaramakrishnan for useful discussions leading to several of these improvements):

    • Rotation angles can be specified in either degrees or radians. Added units parameters to Rotations.__init__

    • OpticalElement objects created from FITS files use the filename as a default optic name instead of “unnamed optic”.

    • FITSOpticalElement class created, to separate FITS file reading functionality from the base OpticalElement class. This class also adds a ‘pixelscale’ keyword to directly specify the pixel scale for such a file, if not present in the FITS header.

    • Removed redundant ‘pupil_scale’ attribute: ‘pixelscale’ is now used for both image and pupil plane pixel scales.

    • unit test code updates & improvements.

  • Miscellaneous minor documentation improvements.

Version 0.2.5

Initial public release, June 1 2011. Questions, comments, criticism all welcome!

  • Improved spectrum display

  • Improved display of intermediate results during calculations.

Versions 0.2.1 - 0.2.3

  • Smoother installation process (thanks to Anand Sivaramakrishan for initial testing)

  • Semi-analytic coronagraphic algorithm added for TFI and NIRCam circular occulters (Soummer et al. 2007)

  • Advanced settings dialog box added to GUI

  • NIRCam pixel scale auto-switching will no longer override custom user pixelscales.

  • slight fix to pupil file pixel scales to reflect JWST flat-to-flat diameter=6.559 m rather than just “6.5 m”

  • Corrected NIRCam 430R occulter profile to exactly match flight design; other occulters still need to be tuned. Corrected all for use of amplitude rather than intensity profiles (thanks to John Krist for comparison models).

  • added TFI NRM mode (thanks to Anand Sivaramakrishnan)

Version 0.2

Initial STScI internal release, spring 2011. Questions, comments, criticism all welcome!

  • Much improved pysynphot support.

  • Reworked calling conventions for calcPSF() routine source parameters.

  • poppy.calcPSFmultiprocessor merged in to regular poppy.calcPSF

  • Minor bug fixes to selection of which wavelengths to compute for more even sampling

  • Default OPDs are now the ones including SI WFE as well as OTE+ISIM.

  • Improved fidelity for NIRCam coronagraphic occulter models including ND squares and substrate border.

Version 0.1

Development, fall 2010.

  • Support for imaging mode in all SIs and FGS

  • Support for coronagraphy with MIRI, NIRCam, and TFI. Further enhancements in fidelity to come later. Coronagraphic calculations are done using the direct FFT method, not Soummer’s semi-analytic method (though that may be implemented in the future?).

  • Up-to-date science frame axes convention, including detector rotations for MIRI and NIRSpec.

  • Tunable wavelengths and appropriate bandwidths for TFI.

  • Partial support for modeling IFU PSFs through use of the ‘monochromatic’ parameter.

  • Revision V OPD files for OTE and SIs. Produced by Ball Aerospace for Mission CDR, provided by Mark Clampin.