Call for German Proposals

SOFIA Observing Cycle 9 Call for German Proposals is open

The Cycle 9 Call for German Proposals is closed!
Thank you for submitting your proposal!


The Cycle 9 Call for German Proposals is updated!
Please read the Call file carefully, especially the sections: 1.0.1. and 2.3.2.! 

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is pleased to invite proposals for its 9th regular observation cycle. Due to a mandatory extended aircraft maintenance period planned for April through June 2021, the observation period for Cycle 9 is expected to start July 6, 2021 and end on September 30, 2022.

The official "Call for German Proposals" document is available for download from this website. It contains all necessary information in order to prepare and submit a proposal for scientific observations during Cycle 9.

         SOFIA Observing Cycle 9 Call for German Proposals

            German-Queue.pdf (for USPOT - Team PDF Attachment)


Additional information about the US-led Cycle 9 Call for Proposals can be found on the Cycle 9 Call for Proposals website of our partner organization USRA.

A separate Call for the SOFIA Legacy Program (SLP) was released on the 29th of May 2020. Check the following file to get all needed information about these Programs:

          Call for Proposals for the SOFIA Legacy Program (SLP)

Cycle 9 Schedule

The nominal schedule for the German Cycle 9 observing program is as follows:

8 June 2020

Release of Call for German Proposals

3 August 2020

Call for German Proposals update

5 September 2020, 06:00 CEST

Proposal Submission deadline

December 2020

Proposal Selections Announced

6 July 2021 – 30 September 2022           

expected Cycle 9 observing period


For Cycle 9, SOFIA will offer six instruments. The available instruments will be EXES, FIFI-LS, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT, and HAWC+.
However, Cycle 9 is potentially the last cycle in which FORCAST will be offered, depending on funding and proposal pressure.

Please, check also the Observer's Handbook for Cycle 9.


Collaborative Reserved Observations Catalogs (CROCs)

In contrast to Reserved Observation Catalogs of other facilities, the CROCs do not automatically prohibit proposals for the listed sources. Observations of targets in the GREAT CROC or in the FIFI-LS CROC may be proposed with the prior permission of the instrument’s PI, who may allow these observations, or may propose a collaborative proposal. The policies are described in Section 3.1.1. of the Call for German Proposals document.


Duplication Checking

Duplications of existing observations, or of observations approved for Cycle 8 but not yet executed, need to be justified explicitly. Proposers should search the SOFIA Science Archive or the IRSA-SOFIA for completed observations and the AOR Search page for approved Cycle 8 observations to check for potential duplications. As noted above, the ROC tables in the Call for Proposals should also be checked for disallowed observations.

The Science Archive search results tables for the GREAT instrument do not list the exact frequencies observed. Therefore, if proposers find that a target has been observed by GREAT, they should follow up by executing an AOR search for that target for "All Cycles" with GREAT as the selected instrument. The results will include the observed frequencies. The set of frequencies observed may be incomplete for observations in earlier cycles. Please contact if you have any questions about possible duplications.


Unified SOFIA Proposal and Observation Tool (USPOT)

All proposals are to be prepared and submitted using the Unified SOFIA Proposal and Observation Tool (USPOT).
Download USPOT.
Check also USPOT Manual.


Exposure Time Estimation

Estimations of exposure times can be made using the SOFIA Instrument Time Estimator (SITE), a web-based tool that provides total integration time or S/N for a given instrument, filter(s), source type (point, extended, emission line), and water vapor overburden.


Atmospheric Transmission

The atmospheric transmission, as a function of wavelength, may be obtained using the on-line tool ATRAN developed and provided to the SOFIA program by Steve Lord. The use of ATRAN is necessary for planning SOFIA high-resolution spectroscopic observations.


Target Visibility Tool

The target visibility for SOFIA can be determined using the Visibility Tool (VT), which is now available within USPOT. Note that the use of VT is not a requirement, since detailed flight planning is done by the SMO staff.


SOFIA Publications

Refereed publications based on SOFIA data, about the Observatory and its instruments are available on the SOFIA Science Center publications page.




This image shows Maja Kazmierczak-Barthel

Maja Kazmierczak-Barthel

DSI SOFIA Senior Scientist

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