Data Pipeline and Products

The SOFIA Science Center provides raw and calibrated data for all instruments via the Data Cycle System (DCS) Science Archive.

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

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.

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 4 weeks
GREAT (provided by instrument team) 3 60 business days
HAWC+ 3 15 business days

Level 4 data is available for FIFI-LS, FORCAST, 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

Here are the current versions of the Data Reduction Pipelines:

Pipeline Version Release Date
EXES Redux v1.5.0 1 March 2018
FIFI-LS Redux v1.3.3 25 Jan 2017
FLITECAM Redux v1.2.0
14 Dec 2017
FORCAST Redux v1.3.1
1 March 2018
HAWC+ DRP v1.3.0 17 May 2018

When searching for and retrieving reduced data from the DCS, please check the version of the pipeline used to generate the data products. If the pipeline version does not agree with the entry given above, please contact User Support to inquire if the data require re-processing or are in the process of being re-reduced. Not all revisions to the pipelines result in the need to re-process data. If re-processing is underway, new versions of the data products will be available shortly. The status of the data products for any specific set of observations can be provided upon request. 

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