2015 SOFIA Observers' Workshop

May 20-21 2015
The Historic Adobe Building
157 Moffett Blvd
Mountain View, CA 94043

The East Coast Observers' Workshop summary will be held on June 4, 2015 in Columbia, Maryland.

Workshop Agenda and links to Presentation Slides


The SOFIA observatory, providing access to the near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths for imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy is now in the Full Operational Capability phase. All six of its first generation instruments will have been commissioned by May 2015. The aircraft underwent "heavy maintenance" —a thorough inspection and servicing— at the Lufthansa Technik facility during the latter half of 2014, and is ready for many years of science flights, which resumed in January 2015.

SOFIA completed its first Southern Hemisphere deployment in 2013 from its temporary base in Christchurch, New Zealand with the GREAT instrument on board. SOFIA has also carried out a number of rapid turn-around Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) observations. The deployment, and the successful ToO observations demonstrate the ability of flexible operations and response to time critical events in the midst of the regular observing cycle.

The goal of this workshop is to provide a venue for current and future SOFIA users to learn about the observatory capabilities, to receive guidance on the design of observations and preparation of proposals, and to share their ideas about scientific investigations possible with this unique astronomical platform. The workshop is designed to inform potential users of SOFIA capabilities and to train current and potential GIs on how to best utilize SOFIA tools for the optimization of their research programs. Consequently, the workshop should be of significant use to those new to infra-red astronomy as well as experienced observers. During the workshop, particular emphasis will be placed on the Cycle 4 Call for Proposals, which is expected to be released in late April, with a deadline in late June, 2015.

General Investigators who have obtained SOFIA data may visit the SOFIA Science Center on Friday, May 22 to meet with staff scientists to discuss specific issues with their data, including questions related to calibration and analysis. Please note that visitor badges are required for entry into NASA Ames, where the SOFIA Science Center is located. Those planning to visit are encouraged to register early. Please see the registration page for details.


The final workshop agenda is available here.

Throughout the meeting we will be discussing SOFIA science and future opportunities. To facilitate the discussion, we invite participants to contribute posters on science based on SOFIA observations, or on science related to future research opportunities with SOFIA. The poster title may be provided on the registration page.

Depending on interest, remote access to the meeting may be provided. Registrants should provide their preference for "local" or "remote" attendance on the registration page.


Spring is the perfect time of year to visit the San Francisco Bay area. Please see the Travel Info page for information on traveling to Mountain View, places to stay, and things to do.


On June 4, 2015, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) will be hosting a seminar where the key points from the main Observers' Workshop will be summarized. The seminar will be held at the USRA Headquarters in Columbia, Maryland.


B-G Andersson
Adwin Boogert
Andrew Helton
Ravi Sankrit

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