Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Barbara Klett

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Keilig

Deputy SMO Director (Kalifornien)

Standortleiter AFRC & SOFIA Teleskop Manager
Dipl.-Ing. Michael Hütwohl

Standortleiter ARC & und Facility Scientist
Dr. rer. nat. Jürgen Wolf

Technology Advisor
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Wagner

Bildungs- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Dr. rer. nat. Dörte Mehlert

Deutsches SOFIA Institut
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 (0)711/685-62379
Fax +49 (0)711/685-63596


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can moving targets be observed during Basic Science? Are there any constraints?

Moving targets can be observed during Basic Science. The observing constraints are outlined in a white paper:

Observing Moving Targets during Basic Science

Additionally, if your target does not meet the faintness limits specified in the white paper but is moving rather slowly, it may be possible to observe the object with fixed pointing or in mosaicking mode (when using FORCAST).

Please contact the for clarification in such a case.


2. The on-line Target Visibility Tool does not appear to recognize some comet names. What is the standard format for specifying comet names?

VT queries the Minor Planet and Comet Ephemeris Service (MPES) maintained at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard. The following examples show how comet identifiers should be entered into the VT target query field: unnumbered comets - "C/2008 Q3", "P/2006 T1" ; numbered periodic comets - "169P/NEAT" (no quotation marks). Due to the way text fields are interpreted, input strings that include names in addition to the designation may fail. For example, "C/2008 Q3 (Garradd)" will be rejected. Warning: using only the name (such as "Garradd"), rather than the designation will always result in an asteroid being returned if an asteroid of that name exists.


3. When I use SIMBAD lookup in the Visibility Tool (VT) for a named target, the name is either not recognized or the incorrect co-ordinates are returned. What is happening?

For several target names that include the plus (+) or minus (-) sign, the VT/SIMBAD query mechanism does not correctly handle the string of text following the sign. As a consequence, the name is not recognized as a target, or the query defaults to a different target. For any such target name, we suggest querying SIMBAD directly and entering co-ordinates explicitly into VT.


4. I am using the provided LaTeX template in order to write a proposal. But when running LaTeX I get an error message stating that there is no \title given. Also, starting on page 2, there appear some question marks ("??? ???") in the header area of the generated document.

Please use the updated LaTeX template available at the Call for Proposal page, or manually add the following LaTeX commands to your .tex document:

% The following information is shown in the header line starting on page 2
\pititle{}      % The Propsing PI's title such as Prof. Dr. ..
\pifirstname{}  % The Propsing PI's first name
\pilastname{}   % The Propsing PI's last name
\title{}        % The Title of the Proposal


5. In order to facilitate flight planning, I want to provide multiple possible targets from which only one needs to be observed for my science case. However, the SPT yields only an observing time for all the objects. A number which is likely too high to be accepted. What should I do?

Please explicitly state in your feasibility section that you want to observe only one of the proposed targets.

Also, if there is space in the justification section write something like:

"... observe only one of the ... targets provided ..."


6. In the official Call for Proposals there is no time given for the deadline date of proposal submissions. How long will the submission form on the website be available?

The webform will be accepting proposal submissions through March 21, 23:59 MEZ.