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 6

Call for German Proposals

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is pleased to invite proposals for its sixth regular observation cycle which is planned to take place from February 2018 through February 2019.

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 6.

SOFIA Observing Cycle 6 Call for German Proposals

Additional information about the US-led Cycle 6 Call for Proposals can be found on the Cycle 6 Call for Proposals website of our partner organization USRA and the 

SOFIA Observer's Handbook for Cycle 6

SOFIA Thesis Enabling Program

Starting with Cycle 6, the SOFIA program introduces a new Call for Proposals category (see CfP 2.1.4) for Master & PhD- students. This category aims to give Master and PhD candidates the opportunity to gather data for their research thesis onboard SOFIA.

Supplementary to all requirements applying through the standard Call for German Proposals, students who want to participate in this unique thesis opportunity and benefit from DLR-DSI sponsorship must also submit the additional forms listed here.

Cycle 6 Schedule

The nominal schedule for the Cycle 6 observing program is as follows:

May 10, 2017 Release of Call for German Proposals.
June 9, 2017 Call for Proposals update
July 01, 2017, 6:59 CEST Proposal Submission deadline
Early October 2017 Anticipated Announcement of Selections
Feb 2018 - Feb 2019 Cycle 6 observing period



For Cycle 6, SOFIA will offer six instruments. The available instruments will be EXES, FIFI-LS, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT (upGREAT and 4GREAT, band 3 & 4), and HAWC+.

The instrument modes available for Cycle 6 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 6. 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 5 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 5 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.