We present an overview of the ACS on-orbit performance based on the calibration observations taken during the first three months of ACS operations. The ACS meets or exceeds all of its important performance specifications. The WFC and HRC FWHM and 50% encircled energy diameters at 555 nm are 0.088" and 0.14", and 0.050" and 0.10". The average rms WFC and HRC read noises are 5.0 e<sup>-</sup> and 4.7 e<sup>-</sup>. The WFC and HRC average dark currents are ~ 7.5 and ~ 9.1 e<sup>-</sup>/pixel/hour at their operating temperatures of - 76°C and - 80°C. The SBC + HST throughput is 0.0476 and 0.0292 through the F125LP and F150LP filters. The lower than expected SBC operating temperature of 15 to 27°C gives a dark current of 0.038 e<sup>-</sup>/pix/hour. The SBC just misses its image specification with an observed 50% encircled energy diameter of 0.24" at 121.6 nm. The ACS HRC coronagraph provides a 6 to 16 direct reduction of a stellar PSF, and a ~1000 to ~9000 PSF-subtracted reduction, depending on the size of the coronagraphic spot and the wavelength. The ACS grism has a position dependent dispersion with an average value of 3.95 nm/pixel. The average resolution λ/Δλ for stellar sources is 65, 87, and 78 at wavelengths of 594 nm, 802 nm, and 978 nm.
The off-axis location of the Advanced Camera for Surveys causes strong geometric distortion in all detectors -- the Wide Field Camera (WFC), High Resolution Camera (HRC), and Solar Blind Camera (SBC). Dithered observations of rich star cluster fields are used to calibrate the distortion. We describe the observations obtained, the algorithms used to perform the calibrations and the accuracy achieved. We present our best current calibration of the geometric distortion of each of the detectors.
The ACS solar blind channel (SBC) is a photon-counting MAMA detector capable of producing two-dimensional imaging in the UV at wavelengths 1150-1700 Angstroms, with a field of view (FOV) of 31" × 35". We describe the on-orbit performance of the ACS/SBC from an analysis of data obtained from the service mission observatory verification (SMOV) programs. Our summary includes assessment of the point-source image quality and point spread function (PSF) over the SBC FOV, the dark current measurements, the characteristics of the flat fields, fold analysis, throughput, and the UV sensitivity monitor to check for contamination. Where appropriate, a comparison with pre-launch calibration data will also be made.