Richard L. White

Space Telescope Science Institute

The FIRST Survey

The VLA FIRST Survey is the radio equivalent of the Palomar Sky Survey, mapping 9,900 square degrees of the sky to a flux density limit of 1 mJy at 20 cm wavelength with 5" resolution and 1" positions.

MAGPIS: The Multi-Array Galactic Plane Imaging Survey

The MAGPIS web site collects images and catalogs of the Milky Way from the radio to the infrared. Currently our prime database is our new high-dynamic range, high-sensitivity VLA survey of the inner Galaxy.

Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys

I am on the science instrument team for the Advanced Camera for Surveys, which was installed on the Hubble telescope during a 2002 Space Shuttle servicing mission. I designed the algorithm used for on-board compression of the ACS images (described in a PDF paper from the 1998 Kona SPIE meeting.) I'm working on strongly lensing clusters and direct imaging searches for planets, among other science projects.


PyRAF is a new command language for IRAF based on the Python scripting language. It is useful both for interactive data analysis and for writing analysis scripts.

Image Compression

My hcompress image compression software was used for the Digitized Sky Survey and many other projects. I helped develop an algorithm for compressing floating point images and a scheme for tiled compression of FITS images that allows fast access to the data. Other work includes a progressive image transmission protocol & library using the hcompress compression engine. Here are some examples.

Image Restoration

I developed image deconvolution methods used for Hubble Space Telescope and other data. I co-edited the proceedings of the 1st and 2nd HST image restoration workshops.

Guide Star Catalog-II

I developed the star-galaxy classification algorithm for GSC-II, a project to construct an all-sky catalog of one billion stars and galaxies with colors and proper motions from digitized Schmidt photographic plates. I have also worked on other applications of decision tree classifiers to astronomical data.