In November 2004, the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) was founded at the University of Stuttgart. It is a part of the Institute of Space Systems (IRS).
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a joint project of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) at the University of Stuttgart coordinates the scientific operations on the German side. The American scientific operations are planned by the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). Flight tests and flight operations are led by the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) to the north of Los Angeles. The NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) to the south of San Francisco conducts the scientific research flights. To facilitate smooth telescope operations, the majority of DSI employees are continuously posted on site in California.
DSI is also regarded as the German center for excellence in infrared astronomy. Within the framework of the scientific observations, DSI provides technically competent support for the astronomical user community in Germany during the use of the SOFIA observatory as well as the scientific archiv data.
The Senior Management Team
- Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe, DSI Director
- Dr. rer. nat. Dörte Mehlert, Director of Education and Public Outreach
- Dr.-Ing. Thomas Keilig, DSI Managing Director
- Dipl.-Ing. Michael Hütwohl, Team Lead AFRC and SOFIA Telescope Manager (Palmdale, California)
- Dr.-Ing. Manuel Wiedemann, Team Lead ARC and DSI Imager Upgrade (Moffett Field, California)