University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William H. Jefferys Papers, 1977-2004

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jefferys, William H., 1940-
Title: Jefferys, William H., papers
Dates: 1977-2004
Abstract: William H. Jefferys is Harlan J. Smith Centennial Professor of Astronomy (Emeritus) in the Astronomy Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Meeting minutes, quarterly reports, manuals, contracts, working papers, and correspondence document the work of the Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry Science Team, led by Jefferys.
Accession No.: 2003-136; 2005-088
OCLC No.: 961214918
Extent: 14 ft., 3 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

William H. Jefferys, born in 1940, is currently (2016) an American astronomer and Harlan J. Smith Centennial Professor of Astronomy (Emeritus) in the Astronomy Department at the University of Texas at Austin. He served as chairman of the UT Department of Astronomy from 1994 to 1998, retired from UT in 2004, and accepted an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Statistics at the University of Vermont in 2005. He was the Principal Investigator for the Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry Science Team, which advised NASA on developing the HST Fine Guidance Sensors as astronomical instruments, used in scientific investigations.


Bill Jefferys' Home Page, accessed September 23, 2016

Scope and Contents

The William H. Jefferys Papers, 1977-2004, contain meeting minutes, quarterly reports, manuals, contracts, working papers, and correspondence documenting the work of the Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry Science Team. Notes from Jefferys explaining some of the materials can be found in the inventory.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Jefferys, William H., 1940-
Subjects (Organizations)
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Hubble Space Telescope (Spacecraft)
University of Texas at Austin.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Library Unit and the Artifacts Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William H. Jefferys Papers, 1977-2004, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Ralph Elder, October 2003.

Subsequent revisions were made by Kristy Sorenson, May 2005.

Detailed Description of the Papers



4Ad44 Description of Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry Science Team Materials to be donated to the University of Texas by William H. Jefferys
Minutes of the Space Telescope Astrometry Science Team (STAT), 1978-1988, including Executive Minutes as well as those for the open sessions. These are bound in Accopress-style Binders, as are the contents of some other materials. These give a detailed overview of the development of the astrometry project from its inception to the end. All of the problems were discussed openly.
4Ad45 Minutes of the STAT, 1989-1999
4Ad46 Minutes of the Space Telescope Science Working Group (STSWG), 1978-1985. Bound in Accopress-style binders. The STSWG was the main scientific advisory group for the Hubble. It consisted of the various principal investigators and other scientists that had contracts with NASA as well as relevant NASA officials. This is necessary background material to understand the Astrometry project.
4Ad47 Minutes of the STSWG, 1985-1990
Bill Jefferys' notebooks on the project (7 standard bound notebooks)
Software Notebook (1)
Pointing Control System (PCS) Software Specifications (The Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS), which is our scientific instrument, was part of the PCS)
Optical Field Angle Distortion (OFAD) Feasibility Study (The OFAD was one of our major calibration tasks for the FGS).
Astrometry Engineering Data Processor (AEDP) Software Development Plan; this is the software that processed the astrometry science and engineering data
AEDP to Post Observation Data Processing System (PODPS) Interface Control Document (ICD). This document specifies how the data gets from the AEDP to the system that processes the science data
PASS Software Specification: PASS is the POCC Applications Software Support, and POCC is the Payload Operations Control Center. Since the FGS are also part of the general operations of the telescope as well as science instruments, they straddle the science and operations side of the telescope.
4Ad48 Quarterly Reports for NASA Contract NAS8-32906, the contract under which we operated while developing the astrometry project
Paperwork for quarterly reports
Contracts and Extensions
Astrometry Targets
Astrometry Science Proposals (these are different from the cost proposals above, they describe in detail the science we planned to do and the targets we planned to observe)
4Ad49 Observing Proposals and Changes
Subcontracts and Paperwork. We had subcontracts run out of the University of Texas to Yale University, the University of Virginia, and Lowell Observatory, which supported our colleagues at those institutions.
Guaranteed Time Observer (GTO) Grant Material. After the launch of the telescope, our funding was transferred from Marshall Space Flight Center to the Goddard Space Flight Center, where the postlaunch science operations were carried out. The funding was through a grant rather than a contract.
OFAD Calibration working papers, including calculations and other handwritten material
Prelaunch FGS Technical Papers (two folders)
Astrometry Software Activities. We were responsible for developing software to reduce astrometry data.
Spherical Aberration (Impact Analyses). After the main mirror spherical aberration was discovered after launch, we had to discern how our operations and science would be affected.
Astrometry Capabilities Workshop. About two years after launch, while spherical aberration was still an issue, and other things such as telescope pointing stability were an issue, there was some danger that the FGS might not work well enough to do viable astrometry, and NASA conducted a "workshop" AKA "Tiger Team" to decide whether to pursue FGS astrometry. It was decided to continue with FGS astrometry as the case was made that although there had been some degradation due to telescope problems, there was still significant and important science to be done that could not be done any other way.
Postlaunch Technical Memos: These are various technical memos relating to the FGS, calibration issues, etc.
4Ad50 Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Space Telescope (ST). This is the document we used to write our original proposal in 1977
AO for ST-GTO, the document we used to prepare our grant proposal for the postlaunch phase
REDUCE User's Manual: This is one of the software products we generated, although in the end it was superceded by our GaussFit system.
GaussFit User's Manual. This is the software system that we have used for most of our science data reduction (on the data processed by AEDP and PODPS)
Astrometry Data Reduction System (ADRS) Data Management (DM)-02. This document guided our early software development ideas; but it was superceded by AEDP and GaussFit
Error Model for FGS: This document specified (pre-launch) the expected errors for astrometry data
Calibration of FGS: This document specified calibration plans for the FGS
PCS Equations: This document provided us with information on the mathematical model of the FGS and was used to develop calibration and analysis software for the FGS
Space Telescope Observatory Performance Assessment Team (STOPAT) Minutes. This group was formed to work on problems prelaunch that threatened the HST project.
Astrometry Design and Operations Review (ADOR) Minutes 1-5. This group was formed to solve problems prelaunch relative to astrometry.
AEDP Requirements Document
AEDP System Design Specifications Release 1
AEDP System Design Specifications Release 2
AEDP System Design Specifications Release 3
AEDP Operations Manual Release 1
AEDP System Design Specification
AEDP System Requirements Specification
AEDP System Design Specification Revision B
AEDP System Operations Manual Revision C
4Ad51 Constraints and Requirements Document (CARD): Specifies how the telescope can and cannot be used to avoid jeopardizing operations
SVO-1-5: Science Verification plans. This document says how each instrument is supposed to be verified as a scientifically viable instrument
SV Catalog: List of objects to be observed after launch during the science verification phase, before general science operations commence
FGS Data Reduction Filters: An early document specifying the Astrometry Team's ideas about software for data reduction
FGS Alignment Activity Final Report: There are three FGS units, which had to be aligned on orbit so that we know where they were relative to each other.
HST Science Verification (SV) catalog. Another version of the SV Catalog
Press Kits, astronaut pictures and autographs, news clippings
Photographs of the FGS units
Some late items: A few of our many papers, and some preproposal correspondence
4Ad52 FGS Tiger Team Final Report v. 1-4
Statistical Analysis of the OFAD Using the Bootstrap Method, by Q. Wang and W. Jefferys
NAG-1603 Quarterly Reports
SV Program Final Report
HST FGS Instrument Handbooks, vers. 3.0, 6.0
HST Astrometry Operations Handbook
HST Level I Requirements (Dec. 1983)
HST 32 KB Astrometry Error Budget
Subcontracts Paperwork
Calibration Correspondence
HST Astrometry Capabilities Workshop ("Tiger Team"))
Performance of Koester's Prism Interferometer
Phase B Report - Astrometer. This document antedates our involvement with the project. What is interesting is how different the actual astrometry concept was in earlier planning from what was allowed to be proposed to NASA in the 1978 AO.
Alternative FGS Design Study. At one point in the project it was feared that the FGS would not work, and an alternative design using CCDs was proposed. This never got anywhere.
Guide Star Selection Systems (GSSS) Specifications and Preliminary Design. We were tasked by NASA to look at basic GSSS design. We had hoped to get the contract, but NASA decided to do it internally, at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Astrometry Notebook. A compendium of FGS lore.
Design Reference Mission (DRM). This was a major activity early in the project, to give everyone an idea of how the telescope would work in practice.
Assessment of Chromatic Wedge Concern. The filters of the FGS were made of glass and might affect the positions of stars. This memo addressed this issue. A series of calibrations was planned and executed to eliminate this source of error.
Calibration and SV issues
FGS Memos
Science (just a few items)
3K18 Proposal to NASA for astrometric uses of the space telescope, April-December 1977
Space Telescope Alternate Fine Guidance System Study, agenda, June 8, 1983
Space Telescope Alternate Fine Guidance Sensor Program, final review, agenda, October 13, 1983
"Spatial Distortions and Plate Scales for the Space Telescope Science Instruments: Preliminary Report" by C. A. Grady with letter from Alain Fresneau, 1983-1984
Correspondence, clippings and the Space Telescope History Project, 1984-1990, undated
3K24 NGC188 and Praesepe overlays [used to calibrate the HST Fine Guidance Sensors]:
Documentation, September 26, 1986
3So100 Overlays, undated
3W101 OSS Operations Tutorial, VHS tape, November 20, 1989
3K18 "Joke" materials, [includes comics with typed captions, fake time requisition form], ca. 1989, undated
University of Texas press packet on the Hubble Space Telescope, March 12, 1990
Articles on the Hubble Space Telescope, March-May 1990
Invitation to Hubble Space Telescope launch, April 1990
Press releases distributed by NASA:
With comparison photo of the Hubble Space Telescope’s first wide field planetary camera image
[Photo number G-90-03195], May 20, 1990
3S16.4 Photograph, May 20, 1990
3K18 [No photo number], May 22, 1990
3S16.4 Photograph, May 22, 1990
3K18 With comparison photo of the Hubble Space Telescope's first faint object camera image
[No photo number], June 1990
3S16.4 Photograph, June 22, 1990
3K18 1991 Joint NASA/Goddard Honor Awards, March 26, 1991
Presentation on Hubble Space Telescope flaws for UT Lamp, [includes overheads], April-May 1993
Invitation to launch of STS-61 Endeavour, Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, December 2, 1993
Program for groundbreaking of the William P. Hobby/Robert E. Eberly telescope, March 25, 1994
"Hubble Space Telescope 1994" pamphlet with holograph, 1994
Fifth anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope launch, invitation to Lockheed Missles symposium and first day of issue commemorative postcard, April 1995
Clipping on University of Texas at Austin astronomers working with Hubble Space Telescope, November 20, 1995
Hubble Space Telescope tenth anniversary reception material, April 29, 2000
William G. Fastie, obituary and memorial, 2000
Proceedings, ESA/ESO Workshop on Astronomical Uses of the Space Telescope, Geneva, February 12-14, 1977
3K24 The Space Telescope Observatory, NASA CP-2244, August 1982
Brochures and published guides to NASA, the space shuttle, and the Space Telescope, 1983-1987, undated
Operating the Hubble Space Telescope - Goddard Space Flight Center: A Closer Look, 1985
Alcalde, see "A Window to the Heavens," page ten, March-April 1990
Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA NP-126, ca. 1990
Reprints related Hubble Space Telescope research, 1990-1991
The Astrophysical Journal, volume 369, number 2, part 2, March 10, 1991
Report of the HST Strategy Panel: A Strategy for Recovery, edited by R. A. Brown and H. C. Ford, 1991
Sky and Telescope, [several articles marked, including "What Hubble has Taught Us"], April 1996
The Hubble Story: Where we are and How we Got There, NASA NP-2000-3-026-GJFC, 2000
Sky and Telescope, cover story on Hubble's tenth anniversary, April 2000
Hubble 2004: Science Year in Review, NASA, 2004
Perkin-Elmer brochures on the NASA Space Telescope, undated
3S16.4 Photographs
Images of space, 1990, undated
Dr. R. C. Bless, undated
Dr. A. D. Code, undated
2.325/D10L Rolled, oversize engineering plans for Hubble Space Telescope, March 16, 1979
2.116/OD1199 Hubble Space Telescope posters, undated