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 8

Call for German Proposals

SOFIA Observing Cycle 8 Call for German Proposals is now closed.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is pleased to invite proposals for its 8th regular observation cycle which is planned to take place from 25th of April 2020 - 24th of April 2021.

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 8.

SOFIA Observing Cycle 8 German Call for Proposals

Additional information about the US-led Cycle 8 Call for Proposals can be found on the Cycle 8 Call for Proposals website of our partner organization USRA.

A separate Call for the SOFIA Legacy Program (SLP) and SOFIA Archival Research Program Proposals (SARP) was released on the 31st of May 2019. Check the following file to get all needed information about these Programs:

            Call for Proposals for the SOFIA Legacy Program (SLP)
            and the SOFIA Archivial Research Program (SARP)

Cycle 8 Schedule

The nominal schedule for the German Cycle 8 observing program is as follows:

June 7, 2019 Release of Call for German Proposals
July 27, 2019 Call for German Proposals update
September 7, 2019, 6:00 CEST Proposal Submission deadline
December 2019 Anticipated Announcement of Selections
25 April 2020 - 24 April 2021 Cycle 8 observing period



For Cycle 8, SOFIA will offer six instruments. The available instruments will be EXES, FIFI-LS, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT, and HAWC+.
However, Cycle 8 is potentially the last cycle in which FORCAST will be offered, depending on funding and proposal pressure.
A few well-justified new instrument - HIRMES observations may be accepted via the DDT path prior to its offering in Cycle 9; check the CfP file for more details.

Please, check also the Observer's Handbook for Cycle 8.

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 8. The policies are described in Section 3.1.1. of the Call for Proposals document.

Duplication Checking

Duplications of existing observations, or of observations approved for Cycle 7 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 7 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.