WFPC2 Instrument Handbook

Version 4.0, June 1996

J. Biretta, editor


Using This Handbook...

Getting Help...

For prompt answers to questions, please contact the Science Support Division Help Desk.

Information, software tools, and other resources are available on the WFPC2 World Wide Web page:


Contents

CHAPTER 1: - Introduction
1.1 - Instrument Overview
1.2 - Which Instrument to Use: WFPC2, FOC, NICMOS, or STIS?
1.3 - History of WFPC2
1.4 - The Previous vs. Current Generation: WF/PC-1 vs. WFPC2
1.5 - Organization of this Handbook
1.6 - What's New in Version 4.0
1.7 - WFPC2 Handbook on the WWW
1.8 - The Help Desk at STScI
1.9 - Further Information
CHAPTER 2: - Instrument Description
2.1 - Science Objectives
2.2 - WFPC2 Configuration, Field-of-View, and Resolution
2.3 - Overall Instrument Description
2.4 - Quantum Efficiency
2.5 - Shutter
2.6 - Serial Clocks
2.7 - Overhead Times
2.8 - CCD Orientation and Readout
2.9 - Calibration Channel
CHAPTER 3: - Optical Filters
3.1 - Introduction
3.2 - Choice of Broad Band Filters
3.3 - Linear Ramp Filters
3.4 - Redshifted [OII] Quad Filters
3.5 - Polarizer Quad Filter
3.6 - Methane Quad Filter
3.7 - Wood's Filters
3.8 - Red Leaks in UV Filters
3.9 - Apertures
CHAPTER 4: - CCD Performance
4.1 - Introduction
4.2 - Quantum Efficiency
4.3 - Dynamic Range
4.4 - Bright Object Artifacts
4.5 - Residual Image
4.6 - Quantum Efficiency Hysteresis
4.7 - Flat Field Response
4.8 - Dark Backgrounds
4.9 - Cosmic Rays
4.10 - Radiation Damage and Hot Pixels
4.11 - Charge Transfer Efficiency
4.12 - Read Noise and Gain Settings
CHAPTER 5: - Point Spread Function
5.1 - Effects of OTA Spherical Aberration
5.2 - Aberration Correction
5.3 - Wavefront Quality
5.4 - CCD Pixel Response Function
5.5 - Model PSFs
5.6 - PSF Variations with Field Position
5.7 - PSF Variations with Time
5.8 - Large Angle Scattering
5.9 - Ghost Images
5.10 - Optical Distortion
CHAPTER 6: - System Throughput and SNR / Exposure Time Estimation
6.1 - System Throughput
6.2 - On-Line Exposure Time Calculator
6.3 - Target Count Rates
6.4 - Sky Background
6.5 - Signal-to-Noise Ratio Estimation
6.6 - Exposure Time Estimation
6.7 - Sample SNR Calculations
6.8 - Red Leaks in UV Filters
6.9 - Time Dependence of UV Response
CHAPTER 7: - Observation Strategies
7.1 - Observing Faint Targets
7.2 - Observing Bright Targets
7.3 - Observing Faint Targets Near Bright Objects
7.4 - Cosmic Rays
7.5 - Choosing Exposure Times
7.6 - Dither Strategies
7.7 - Pointing Accuracy
7.8 - CCD Position and Orientation on Sky
7.9 - Polarization Observations
7.10 - Observing with Linear Ramp Filters
7.11 - Emission Line Observations of Galaxy Nuclei
CHAPTER 8: - Calibration and Data Reduction
8.1 - Calibration Observations and Reference Data
8.2 - Flat Fields
8.3 - Dark Frames
8.4 - Bias Frames
8.5 - Data Reduction and Data Products
8.6 - Pipeline Processing
8.7 - Fluxes and Standard Magnitudes
8.8 - Color Transformations of Primary Photometric Filters
8.9 - Cycle 5 Calibration Plan
8.10 - Cycle 6 Calibration Plan
CHAPTER 9: - References
9.1 - References
9.2 - Instrument Science Reports
APPENDIX A: - Passband Plots
A.1 - Passbands for each Filter in Isolation
A.2 - Passbands including the System Response
A.3 - Normalized Passbands including the System Response
APPENDIX B: - Point Source SNR Plots
B.1 - Plots for Estimating Point Source SNR
APPENDIX C: - Acronyms
Index