Ray Lucas

I'm a Research and Instrument Scientist in the ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) Group in the Instruments Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) located in Baltimore, MD. The STScI is operated by AURA for NASA and is a research center whose primary mission currently involves supporting science with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). STScI is also the science and operations center for the larger infrared successor to HST's UV/Optical/Infrared legacy, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and more here, which is to be launched in the early 2020s. In addition to that, STScI is to be the operations center and one of the partners in a new mission to fly an exciting new HST-sized (in terms of the primary mirror diameter) infrared survey telescope now in development, currently known as WFIRST, with launch at present set to a nominal date of about 2024. It is exciting because it is designed to have the same resolution as Hubble's newest infrared camera but with ~100 times the area imaged on the sky with each image taken, so it will be a true survey telescope and a real discovery machine which will identify targets for further study with larger infrared telescopes. There is also more about WFIRST here, and here. The Institute is located on the Homewood Campus (Arts and Sciences and Engineering) of the Johns Hopkins University.

Here is a link to some more biographical information. And you'll see that I like to play music, among other things...! I also love to draw portraits, figures, and landscapes, etc. but there is not much time for that, and I love sports (played American football in junior high school and high school, ran in track and field events on the track team, and played basketball into the beginning of my college years on the school teams), the outdoors, hiking, photography, history, cultures and geography, travel, etc.

Member: American Astronomical Society (AAS)
Member: International Astronomical Union (IAU)

Also, here are links to:
Short CV
Static Chronological Publications List, Unrefereed and Refereed, as of 13 January, 2023
Static Publications List, Sorted by Refereed and Unrefereed, as of 13 January, 2023
Google Scholar Publications, by date
Google Scholar Publications, by citations
Publications via STScI Staff Publications link

My address is:
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 338-4716
FAX: (410) 338-4767
WWW: My 2nd-level home page.

I'm primarily interested in extragalactic astronomy, and particularly in galaxy mergers and interactions and associated star formation, galaxy formation and evolution, and populations of galaxies in clusters and in the field, as well as multiwavelength properties of galaxies. My current functional duties involve calibration of the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on HST, and leading the coordination of HST observing program instrument reviews and tools for doing it for the HST science instrument groups in the Instruments Division at STScI.

Since July 1985, I have worked on a variety of tasks at STScI, including:

Link Image processing and catalog generation/object classification and calibration for the original Hubble Guide Star Catalog and the Digitized Sky Survey (the original Archive at STScI)
Link Proposal development and TAC and peer review support
Link Observer support
Link Phase II observing program design/development and implementation
Link Designing and writing the SM1 (1st Servicing Mission, in 1993) Early Release Observations (ERO) Phase II observing program on distant galaxy cluster CL0939+4713 (Abell 851) for Alan Dressler et al. at the time of the initial "rescue/optical correction" of Hubble. At the time, these observations were some of the deepest optical images ever taken of the night sky, and helped reveal that, contrary to predictions, the "repaired" HST with its new WFPC2 camera's corrective optics was a superb tool for the study of the morphologies of distant galaxies. These observations helped inspire the idea of the Hubble Deep Field and all subsequent deep and wide survey fields observed by HST.
Link Helping develop HDF-N and HDF-S programs as member of original HDF-N and later HDF-S Working Groups. Also did WFPC2 data processing for HDF-N and HDF-S flanking fields, including drizzling all of HDF-S WFPC2 flanking fields. First author for large HDF-S flanking fields data paper. (Many more flanking fields than for HDF-N, and in 3 imaging instruments: WFPC2, STIS, and NICMOS. I am very grateful to all my many colleagues who did much work on that large paper, especially including Ed Smith, Harry Ferguson, and Richard Hook.)
Link Helping design Hubble ACS Ultra-Deep Field as a member of the HUDF Working Group, and its parallel ultra-deep fields in WFPC2 (deepest UV images ever at the time) and NICMOS (deepest near-IR images ever at the time) with Massimo Stiavelli.
Link Taking part as co-I in design and development of GOODS, HUDF05, and CANDELS surveys
Link Panel Chair for 1 E/PO NASA peer review panel and panel member for 2 others, at STScI, at NASA HQ, and remotely.
Link Testing JWST Design Reference Mission observing programs of several types, especially Deep Fields DRM observing programs, with Massimo Stiavelli and others, modifying as needed for testing purposes.

Since switching to INS (the Instruments Division at STScI) in 2004, I have worked on a variety of instrument-related tasks, including:

Link Creation and delivery of ACS calibration reference files to CDBS; former lead for ACS CDBS deliveries; former lead ACS partner for automated population of ACS CDBS reference file web pages; creation, testing, and delivery of first post-SM4 ACS/WFC biases and darks, with Max Mutchler
Link ACS and WFPC2 calibration in general, and former lead partner for ACS in the original automated ACS superbias and superdark calibration pipeline (with Mike Swam, Max Mutchler, and Marco Sirianni).
Link Worked with CDBS staff to automate population of ACS reference file web pages.
Link Helped verify Boomerang Nebula as good target for ACS polarimetry calibration program; helped design/create polarimetry calibration observing program which also became a Hubble Heritage image release.
Link Calculated new BOP limits for ACS/SBC, plotting IUE spectra to verify stellar type, finding a typo of spectral type for one star in original ~1945 Keenan paper in the process.
Link Created, tested, and delivered new heavily modified/rearranged MDRIZTAB, new CCDTABs, SPOTTABs, and some other calibration files for ACS.
Link Former OPUS pipeline regression tester for ACS
Link Served as chief investigator of failed observations for ACS.
Link Former ACS+WFPC2 Help Desk Lead
Link Former ACS webmaster
Link WFC3 Thermal Vacuum testing for SM4 at NASA's GSFC
Link ACS replacement electronics testing for SM4 at NASA's GSFC
Link Astronaut EVA support on console during SM4 at NASA's GSFC for SM4 astronaut repair of ACS
Link Testing, re-commissioning, and early science release observations of ACS post-SM4 (I suggested the ACS SM4 ERO target galaxy cluster Abell 370...)
Link I am particularly interested in and involved in calibration studies of CTE (Charge Transfer Efficiency) in on-orbit CCD detectors, especially for extragalactic extended sources in WFPC2 and ACS data.
Link JWST NIRCAM thermal vacuum testing in Palo Alto, CA as part of the Extended NIRCAM Team has also taken some of my time.
Link I have also been a long-time user and tester of drizzling software (since original versions in the mid-1990s) for HST imaging and continued in this role with the new AstroDrizzle software and related software, such as TweakReg, and the associated use of SExtractor.
Link Editor-in-Chief of most recent ACS Data Handbook (2018), including conversion from IRAF/PyRAF to Python etc.
Link I am currently the INS Phase II User Support Technical Lead, coordinating the INS User Support observing program review tools requirements and process for all of the INS Science Instrument Groups, working with OED programming staff to develop and implement new web-based tools for this process, plus documenting the procedures and conducting the training for new Contact Scientists and Instrument Scientist observing program reviewers who review GO, GTO, and calibration etc. observing programs. I also help advise and consult on plans for JWST required reviews of ERS and Cycle 1 GTO and GO programs.

Here are some of my various research projects in which I am or have been involved including the original Guide Star Catalog, and other projects, as author, observer, and/or co-Investigator or Principle Investigator:

Link PRIMER: A large JWST imaging survey program to observe two of our HST CANDELS fields with the MIRI and NIRCAM instruments on JWST.
Link JWST Spectroscopic Pathfinder, a large program to test innovative ways of doing spectroscopic observations of the internal kinematics of some distant, early galaxies in the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field region.
Link An Archival Study of the Interstellar Medium in some of our JWST CEERS ERS galaxies...
Link CEERS: A JWST Early Release Science (ERS) observing program on distant galaxies in the early universe. I am a listed "science collaborator" on this new program which is to be observed in the early days of JWST operations, as a guide to others in the community, helping show what science can be done with JWST studies of distant galaxies, and how, etc.
Link Hubble Deep Fields-North and South, GOODS, Hubble Ultra-Deep Field, HUDF05, CANDELS, the Hubble Frontier Fields Massive Galaxy Clusters Lensing and "Blank" Extragalactic Surveys, and UV-CANDELS; performed original preliminary feasibility and design studies for HDF-N, HDF-S, and GOODS, in addition to SM1 ERO CL0939+4713 (Abell 851).
Link Distant Galaxy Clusters and Gravitational Lensing, Hubble Frontier Fields Galaxy Clusters and Lensing Survey; member of original STScI study and program definition/design team.
Link Lockman Hole HST imaging
Link HST WFPC2 and NICMOS snapshots of ULIRGs and Nordic Optical Telescope (La Palma) observations of LIRGs (VLIRGs)
Link Polar Ring Galaxies and Collisional Ring Galaxies including original HST Cartwheel Galaxy observations; Galaxy interactions and mergers
Link Globular Cluster Populations in galaxies
Link ULX and comet-like gas clouds in the Cartwheel Galaxy
Link Hoag's Object Hubble Heritage imaging - served as the scientist/observer for this at request of Hubble Heritage Team.
Link VLA observations of Steep-Spectrum Radio Sources (PI) - VLA snapshot program of ~70+ galaxies with co-I Ken Chambers
Link Funded Multiwavelength Virtual Observatory investigations of Radio Galaxies (PI) - reduced data (HI maps produced by Neal Miller's pipeline) delivered to MAST as HLSP; with Neal Miller & others
Link High-z Supernovae
Link Gamma Ray Bursts

Some other relevant experience over the years...:

Link In addition to Hubble, I have also done some work on testing James Webb Space Telescope Design Reference Mission proposals (especially the "Deep Fields" ones), and in addition to being a Hubble observer, I have also used a variety of optical and radio telescopes in the US and abroad, including observations at CTIO in Chile and La Palma in the Canary Islands and at the VLA, as well as being a visiting researcher at the IAC on Tenerife, and have also visited the Keck, Subaru, Gemini, and CFHT, etc. telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawai'i, and have been a part of teams getting data from the VLT, Keck, Subaru, and others.

You can find more about all of this at my home page.

Ray Lucas lucas@stsci.edu 01/23/2012