Scanning projection system plays a leading part in current DUV optical lithography. It is frequently pointed out that the mechanically induced distortion and field curvature degrade image quality after scanning. On the other hand, the aberration of the projection lens is averaged along the scanning direction. This averaging effect reduces the residual aberration significantly. The aberration averaging based on the point spread function and phase retrieval technique in order to estimate the effective wavefront aberration after scanning is described in this paper. Our averaging method is tested using specified wavefront aberration, and its accuracy is discussed based on the measured wavefront aberration of recent Nikon projection lens.© (2000) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.