Characterizing The Hubble Space Telescope Using Retrieval Alogorithms

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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