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SIR is a general-purpose code capable of dealing with gradients of the physical quantities with height. It admits one and two-component model atmospheres. It allows the recovery of the stratification of the temperature, the magnetic field vector, and the line of sight velocity through the atmosphere, and the micro- and macroturbulence velocities - which are assumed to be constant with depth. It is based on the response functions, which enter a Marquardt nonlinear least-squares algorithm in a natural way. Response functions are calculated at the same time as the full radiative transfer equation for polarized light is integrated, which determines values of many free parameters in a reasonable computation time. SIR demonstrates high stability, accuracy, and uniqueness of results, even when simulated observations present signal-to-noise ratios of the order of the lowest acceptable values in real observations.
SOPHISM models astronomical instrumentation from the entrance of the telescope to data acquisition at the detector, along with software blocks dealing with, for example, demodulation, inversion, and compression. The code performs most analyses done with light in astronomy, such as differential photometry, spectroscopy, and polarimetry. The simulator offers flexibility and implementation of new effects and subsystems, making it user-adaptable for a wide variety of instruments. SOPHISM can be used for all stages of instrument definition, design, operation, and lifetime tracking evaluation.