UVOT Mode Lookup Tool

Filters
W1 M2 W2
WH BL
UC GU
VC GV
Any with selected
Only with selected
At least with selected
 
Data Type
Any
Only Event
Only Image
Mixed
 
Bin Size
Any
1x1
2x2
 
FOV Size
Any
17'
8'
5'
 
FOV Type
Any
Hardware
Software
 
Special
Any
Finding Chart
LED
IDLE
NULL
Earthlimb
Blue weighted
 
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UVOT's observations are not specified by filter and observing time but by an observing mode which divides the requested observing time appropriately among a group of filters. Modes can include grism observations, event mode and detector windowing.

The following page lists all of the observing modes for the UVOT instrument. Each mode is listed with the sequence of filters that will be used, the image field of view, the binning, the maximum exposure time and the weighting scheme for dividing the exposure time. Also listed are the number of times that mode has been used during the mission as well as comments that describe the subtleties of each mode.

Please note that proposals for Swift do not require you to select a UVOT mode. A detailed description of the requested observations should be sufficient for the UVOT team to pick or suggest an observing mode. Please also note that requested modes are always subject to change due to bright stars, science planning requirements and review by the UVOT team.

A few subtleties of observing with UVOT: Binning observations 2x2 is standard for UVOT observations, since 1x1 would be smaller than UVOT's spatial resolution. It is highly recommended that single-filter observations in the optical (white, V and B) and the grisms use modes that include "earth-limb protection." These short snapshots at the beginning and end of the observation can minimize the background sky level in the primary exposure. Observations requesting *only* optical filters should contain a strong justification since B and V data can be easily obtained from ground-based observatories.

Some of the more common modes in use are:

  • 0x015a is uvm2
  • 0x011e is uvw2
  • 0x01aa is u
  • 0x018c is uvw1
  • 0x2016 is B
  • 0x2005 is V
  • 0x2019 is white
  • 0x209a uses the three optical filters
  • 0x308f uses the three NUV filters
  • 0x30d5 uses the four UV/NUV filters
  • 0x30ed is the standard six-filter blue-weighted mode
  • 0x223f is a heavily weighted six-filter mode; this is the usual mode for supernovae and recommended for very red objects
  • 0x2241 uses all seven optical/UV filters
  • 0x0270 is an unscaled six-filter mode to get the 6 broadband filters in AT observations with snapshot lengths greater than 1000s

Modes that involve the grism, windowing the detector to shorten the read time  or using event mode will generally be picked by the UVOT  team depending on the specific needs and observation sequences.

To view a list of all UVOT modes, click here.