Characterizing The Hubble Space Telescope Using Retrieval Alogorithms

J. R. Fienup

Soon after launch, it was discovered that the Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) suffers from a large amount of spherical aberration. An accurate characterization of the aberrations and state of alignment of the HST is important for several reasons: (1) for the design of replacement instruments that will contain correction optics, planned for installation in 1993; (2) for the accurate alignment of the secondary mirror of the telescope; and (3) to analytically compute noise-free point-spread-functions (PSFs) to optimally deblur the images presently being collected by the HST. The analytic PSFs are particularly important for the HST's Wide-Field/ Planetary Camera (WF/PC) for which the PSF is highly space-variant.

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