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Hubble Space Telescope
FOC Cycle 5 Calibration Plan

Calibration Summary

The performance of the FOC+COSTAR system has been characterized in detail using a combination of ground-based and in-flight tests. After COSTAR deployment, an extensive calibration program was carried out (SMOV) to describe the performance of what could be considered, to all intents and purposes, a new instrument. At that point, the scientific program was enabled. The Cycle 4 calibration program then completed this initial effort and fully characterized the FOC+COSTAR performance. In Cycle 5, we are in a routine situation, and our calibration program is divided into two parts:

These tests were designed after having carefully reviewed the observing proposals to be executed during the current cycle, and would, for example, provide accurate PSFs and check the detector response at certain wavelengths, or characterize special capabilities not previously calibrated. In the calibration summary table [PostScript, 48 kb], we provide a list of the calibration tests which are being performed in Cycle 5, with their objective outlined. For example, a significant number of FOC users in this Cycle are using the polarizers, and therefore an extensive calibration program has been designed, after checking all the individual requirements, to ensure that the best science is achieved with the FOC polarizers.

The Routine Calibration Programs
The routine calibration programs are designed to monitor those aspects of FOC performance that are believed to be subject to time variation. Typically, observations are made at 3 month intervals to verify that the performance has not changed significantly, and then warn users if a significant difference is found.
The Special Calibration Programs
The special calibration programs are designed to offer a more detailed calibration of modes or observation types and represent a class of calibration observations that may be executed once with the results expected to be valid over a long time base. Previous special calibrations, as well as monitoring programs, have resulted in calibration accuracies as discussed in the next section.

Should your program require calibration accuracies that are not obviously satisfied by the values listed in the FOC Handbook, then you should contact an FOC Instrument Scientist for guidance. Individual GO programs requiring special calibrations must directly request these observations as part of their Phase I proposal.