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STIS Performance Updates

STIS performance data include measured point spread functions, spatial profiles, line spread functions, total system throughput, sensitivity curves and calculators, internal and external background levels, photometric and astrometric accuracies. 

Overview of STIS Status after Orbital Verification

In August of 2004, the Side-1 electronics on-board STIS failed due to an electronic failure. STIS remained inoperable until Servicing Mission 4 (SM4) in 2009. On May 17, 2009, during the fourth EVA of SM4, astronauts Michael Good and Mike Massimino undertook an eight-hour spacewalk, during which they replaced the STIS LVPS-2 circuit board containing the failed component. This repair restored the STIS Side-2 electronics, allowing all three of the STIS detectors to be used for science observations.

In most respects, STIS after the 2009 repair operates in much the same way as it did prior to the 2004 failure. Most changes in performance are close to what had been expected. The degradation of the STIS CCD due to radiation damage and the modest changes in optical throughput are consistent with extrapolation of previously-observed trends. The biggest surprise is in the dark current for the NUV MAMA detector. It is several times larger than had been expected and is only slowly decreasing towards its expected range.

STIS Performance Resources

LAST UPDATED: 08/27/2021

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