Information about the publicly available FIFI-LS, FLITECAM, FORCAST, and HAWC+ data pipelines is available here.

SOFIA FITS Keywords Dictionary (pdf)

Pipeline User Manuals and Data Handbooks

The pipeline User Manuals and Guest Observer (GO) Data Handbooks describe data products, processing steps, calibration procedures, and known issues.

EXES [pdf]
FIFI-LS [pdf]
HAWC+ [pdf]

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The SOFIA Science Center provides raw and calibrated data for all instruments via the SOFIA Science Archive at IRSA.

Currently, there are five levels of SOFIA data products:

Level 0: raw SI data in standardized format (HAWC+ only)
Level 1: raw SI data in standardized format (FITS);  for HAWC+, the demodulated (chop and nod subtracted) data comprise Level 1
Level 2: data corrected for instrument artifacts (e.g. flat-fielded, dark-subtracted, bad pixels removed)
Level 3: flux calibrated and telluric corrected data (using FITS keywords; Jy/pix)
Level 4: Level 4 data products comprise everything beyond flux calibrated (Level 3) products. Any data product generated from the combination of Level 3 files (e.g., a map or a mosaic) is considered a Level 4 product. For most instruments, Level 4 data products are usually generated from observations obtained across multiple flights or even multiple flight series and observing cycles. For HAWC+ nod-pol observations, the data product that includes the polarization vectors is Level 4.

Details on the processing steps can be found in the data handbooks for each instrument.

The instrument, and desired processing level can be specified in the archive search parameters.

The SOFIA Science Center (SSC) provides the processed, flux calibrated Level 2, Level 3, and (when appropriate) Level 4 data products for the commissioned Facility Class science instruments, which currently include FORCAST (both imaging and grism modes), HAWC+, FIFI-LS, and (now-retired) FLITECAM (both imaging and grism modes). The instruments teams for the PI Class science instruments EXES and GREAT provide the data products for those instruments.

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Data Products Timeline

The data products for each instrument, and at each level of processing, are expected to be available on the timescales listed below. In all cases the times are measured from the end of the flight series in which the observation was performed. This timeline is for nominal processing only which does not include additional manual processing to address any problems encountered in the data.

Data Products Timeline
Instrument Levels Timescale
FORCAST (imaging and grisms) 2 & 3 15 business days
FIFI-LS 2 & 3 15 business days
EXES (provided by instrument team) 2 & 3 15 business days
GREAT (provided by instrument team) 3 & 4 60 business days
HAWC+ 3 15 business days

Level 4 data is available for FIFI-LS, FORCAST, GREAT, and HAWC+ instruments. It is typically delivered at the same time as Level 3 data, except for data compiled from cross-mission observations, which is situationally dependent.

Tables of synthetic fluxes for SOFIA/FORCAST standard stars

All Level 3 imaging data have been flux calibrated using all standards available from a single flight series, as described in the GO Data Handbooks. Tables of filter wavelengths and color corrections for each observing cycle are given below:

FORCAST Cycle 1: FORCAST_ColorCorrecns_OC1.pdf
FORCAST Cycle 2 onward: FORCAST_ColorCorrecns_OC4.pdf
HAWC+ Cycle 5: HAWC_ColorCorrecns_OC5.pdf

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Current Pipeline Versions

Here are the current versions of the Data Reduction Pipelines:

Data Reduction Pipelines Versions
Pipeline Version Release Date
EXES Redux v3.0.0 13 December 2022
FIFI-LS Redux v2.7.1 13 December 2022
FLITECAM Redux v2.0.0 24 September 2021
FORCAST Redux v2.7.0 13 December 2022
HAWC+ DRP v3.2.0 20 December 2022

When searching for and retrieving reduced data from the SOFIA Science Archive at IRSA, please check the version of the pipeline used to generate the data products.

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Proposals and AOR Cross-Reference

The file Proposals_AORs is a spreadsheet that contains AOR and Proposal information with cross-references. The file is a partial export of the Data Cycle System (DCS) database used during SOFIA operations, and may be useful for manual reprocessing of science data or proposal references.

  • Approved Proposals: This tab lists all approved proposals, the type of proposal, the instrument, and cross references to the AOR and investigators.
  • Investigators: This tab contains the investigators and their roles for each proposal.
  • AORs: This tab contains detailed AOR information for the proposal, including the chop, nod, dither, and exposure time settings. Relevant quality assurance notes for each AOR are also included. The information in this tab may be useful when manual re-processing of science data is required.
  • ObsBlocks: This tab contains more information on the targets for each proposal, including the flight plan ID and planned vs actual observing time. Additional flight information can be found in the Flight Summaries folder for each observing cycle.

Quality Assurance and Known Issues

Summary of QA Process and Keywords

Calibrated FORCAST imaging data processed before Cycle 3 (2015) do not include the on-source integration time listed in their headers. The document FORCAST Imaging Exposure Time outlines the procedure for calculating the on-source integration time in Level 2 and 3 merged and co-added data files for these observations.

Catalog of Known Issues for each Observing Series .

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