DONUTS: A Science Frame Autoguiding Algorithm with Sub-Pixel Precision, Capable of Guiding on Defocused Stars

J. McCormac*, D. Pollacco, I. Skillen, F. Faedi, I. Todd, C. A. Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


We present the DONUTS autoguiding algorithm, designed to fix stellar positions at the sub-pixel level for high-cadence time-series photometry, and also capable of autoguiding on defocused stars. DONUTS was designed to calculate guide corrections from a series of science images and recentre telescope pointing between each exposure. The algorithm has the unique ability of calculating guide corrections from undersampled to heavily defocused point spread functions. We present the case for why such an algorithm is important for high precision photometry and give our results from off and on-sky testing. We discuss the limitations of DONUTS and the facilities where it soon will be deployed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-556
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number927
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2013


  • MASS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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