Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Barbara Klett

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Keilig

Deputy SMO Director (Kalifornien)
Dr. rer. nat Bernhard Schulz

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

SOFIA Observing Cycle 5

Call for German Proposals 

The call period for Cycle 5 has ended. See the TAC results page for awarded observing times by the Time Allocation Committee.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is pleased to invite proposals for its fifth regular observation cycle which is planned to take place from February 2017 through January 2018.

The official Call for German Proposals document is available for download from this website. It containts all necessary information in order to prepare and submit a proposal for scientific observations during Cycle 5.

SOFIA Observing Cycle 5 Call for German Proposals (updated June 20)

Additional information about the US-led Cycle 5 Call for Proposals can be found on the Cycle 5 Call for Proposals website of our partner organization USRA and the 

SOFIA Observer's Handbook for Cycle 5

Cycle 5 Schedule

The nominal schedule for the Cycle 5 observing program is as follows:

May 13, 2016 Release of Call for German Proposals.
June 20, 2016 Call for Proposals update
July 08, 2016, 23:59 CEST Proposal Submission deadline
October 2016 Anticipated Announcement of Selections
Feb 2015 - Jan 2017 Cycle 5 observing period



For Cycle 5, SOFIA will offer seven instruments. The available instruments will be EXES, FIFI-LS, FLITECAM, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT (or upGREAT), and HAWC+. The HAWC+ instrument and the upGREAT High Frequency Array mode are being commissioned after the proposal deadline for Cycle 5, and are offered for General Investigator observing in Cycle 5 on a shared risk basis, contingent on successful instrument commissioning.

The instrument modes available for Cycle 5 observations are listed in the Call for Proposals and described in details in the Observer's Handbook. The instrument properties are summarized on the instrument pages.

Reserved Observations Catalogs (ROCs)

Summary tables containing the reserved observations for each instrument are included as appendices in the Call for Proposals. Generally, these may not be proposed for in Cycle 5. The policies are described in Section 1.7.1 of the Call for Proposals document.

Duplication Checking

Duplications of existing observations, or of observations approved for Cycle 4 but not yet executed, need to be justified explicitly. Proposers should search the SOFIA Science Archive for completed observations and the AOR Search page for approved Cycle 4 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.

Exposure Time Estimation

Atmospheric Transmission

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

Other Supporting Resources

SOFIA Publications

SOFIA Observers' Workshop presentations

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

Ringberg Workshop

The "Ringberg Workshop on Spectroscopy with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)" was held on March 15-18, 2015. Some presentations from the meeting are available at the SOFIA Science Center web site. Abstracts of all the presentations, and other details may be found on the meeting website.