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WFC3 Calibration Plan

Initial calibration of WFC3 has taken place on the ground in simulated orbital conditions. Shortly after launch, observations were used to assess the on-orbit performance of the camera during a period called Servicing Mission Orbital Verification (SMOV). As with the other HST instruments, calibrations will be periodically updated through new observations campaigns every year.

Every cycle, the WFC3 team executes a routine set of monitoring programs for the UVIS and IR detectors. This plan is designed to:

  • Monitor the health of the instrument
    • throughput, gain, hysteresis, bad/hot pixels, sink pixels, CTE decline, stability of the post-flash LED, filter transmission, state of the CSM, number of IR blobs, flux and wavelength stability of the grisms
  • Maintain and update the standard reference files
    • biases, darks, linearity, CTE traps, UVIS anomalous QE pixels, post-flash, flats, photometric calibration
  • Support new initiatives and obtain supplemental (non-routine) calibration data to investigate any changes

The results of these calibration programs are documented as they become available via Instrument Science Reports on the WFC3 ISR webpage.

Cycle 30

Nov 7, 2022 - Nov 7, 2023

Cycle 30 Calibration Plan Slides

Cycle 29

11/2021-10/2022 (12 months)

Cycle 29 Calibration Plan Slides

Cycle 28

11/2020-10/2021 (12 months)

Cycle 28 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 27

11/2019 - 10/2020 (12 months)

Cycle 27 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 26

11/2018 - 10/2019 (12 months)

WFC3 Calibration in Cycles 23-26: ISR 2018-12

Cycle 26 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 25

11/2017 - 10/2018 (12 months)

WFC3 Calibration in Cycles 23-26: ISR 2018-12

Cycle 25 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 24

11/2016 - 10/2017 (12 months)

WFC3 Calibration in Cycles 23-26: ISR 2018-12

Cycle 24 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 23

11/2015 - 10/2016 (12 months)

WFC3 Calibration in Cycles 23-26: ISR 2018-12

Cycle 23 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 22

11/2014 - 10/2015 (12 months)

WFC3 Cycle 22 Calibration Program: ISR 2015-07

Cycle 22 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 21

11/2013 - 10/2014 (12 months)

WFC3 Cycle 21 Calibration Program:  ISR 2014-07

Cycle 21 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 20

11/2012 - 10/2013 (12 months)

WFC3 Cycle 20 Calibration Program: ISR 2013-05

Cycle 20 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 19

10/2011 - 10/2012 (13 months)

WFC3 Cycle 19 Calibration Program: ISR 2012-04

Cycle 19 Calibration Program Slides

Cycle 18

10/2010-9/2011 (12 months)

WFC3 Cycle 18 Calibration Plan: ISR 2011-14

Cycle 17

8/2009-11/2010 (16 months)

WFC3 Cycle 17 Calibration Plan: ISR 2009-08
WFC3 Cycle 17 Detector Monitoring: ISR 2009-07
WFC3 Photometric Calibration in SMOV and Cycle 17: ISR 2009-05
WFC3 Galactic cluster observations: ISR 2009-06



Servicing Mission Orbital Verification (SMOV) took place shortly after the installation of WFC3 on HST during Servicing Mission 4. Below is a list of tests used to verify the performance of the instrument.

Ground Testing

WFC3 has undergone several iterations of fully integrated instrument testing. This testing took place at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). During thermal vacuum (TV) testing, reference file data were collected and the instrument was characterized and calibrated. The first two TV sessions took place in the winter of 2004 and spring of 2007, and TV3 testing took place in spring of 2008. The links below connect to pages giving the results from the various TV campaigns.

(Additional calibration information is available on the Calibration Plan internal webpage by Bushouse. This page contains links to the science calibration test plan, SMS spreadsheets, and other associated documentation.)

TV Supporting Documents

Side Switch Contingency Plan

WFC3 Side Switch Servicing Mission Orbital Verification (SS SMOV) is a contingency plan for a WFC3 re-commissioning on Side 1, following a side switch.

Detailed Descriptions of the SS SMOV Activities

LAST UPDATED: 01/09/2023

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