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Universität zu Köln
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Fachgruppe Physik

I. Physikalisches Institut

AG Annual Meeting in Bochum: Sep. 12-16, 2016

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AG 2016/Bochum - Splinter Meeting: SOFIA
(organized by the German SOFIA Science Working Group, chair Jürgen Stutzki, Universität zu Köln)

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a partnership of NASA and DLR. It features a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters.

The aircraft is based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. The Science Mission Operations center is at NASA Ames, Mountain View, California. In a flight altitude of 12 - 14 km, the observatory is above most of the terrestrial water vapor layer and allows observations throughout the complete IR/FIR wavelength range.

SOFIA had its first light in 2010 and is now in fully operational mode with regular deployments to the Southern hemisphere (New Zealand). It has a suite of instruments covering various science areas. The German community participates with two science instruments, the FIR heterodyne Spectrometer GREAT (MPIfR, Bonn; Universität zu Köln; DLR Institut für Optische Sensorsysteme), operated as a Principal Investigator Instrument, and the far-infrared imaging spectrometer FIFI-LS (University of Stuttgart), recently established as a SOFIA Facility Instrument.


Date:  Thursday afternoon 14:00 - 18:00,  15.9. 2016

Topic: The current status and the perspectives of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.


The horsehead nebula in emission of the ionized carbon line (1.9 THz) with upGREAT. Click for larger version. Detection of atomic oxygen at 4.7 THz in the atmosphere of Mars with upGREAT The Orion nebula imaged in three FIR wavelengths with FIFI-LS.


Final Agenda

Final Agenda as PDF


SOFIA science:

  • A highlight talk by Dr. R. Simon, I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln,  during the AG plenary session: "The first five Years of SOFIA Science: Highlights and Future Prospects"
  • Contributed talks and poster presentations (splinter registration and abstract submission through AG webpage at covering SOFIA related science results
    from the first 4 cycles of SOFIA proposal science and plans/opportunities for future SOFIA related science with the various instruments.

Talks on the SOFIA observatory:

  • The airborne observatory SOFIA: observing logistics and science instruments.
  • The GREAT instrument (upGREAT; 4GREAT) for THz spectroscopy (R. Guesten).
  • The Field-Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer FIFI-LS (A. Krabbe).

Tutorials on observing planning and proposal writing, covering observing modes, sensitivities etc.

Webpages with further information:

Deutsches SOFIA Institut:

SOFIA Science Center:



Please register on the AG webpage for this splinter meeting.


Main contact is the head of the German SOFIA Science Working Group (GSSWG), Prof. Dr. J. Stutzki.

If you have general questions regarding the meeting, contact us via: ag2016-sofia-loc [at] ph1 [dot] uni-koeln [dot] de