Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

SOFIA in flightSOFIA in flight

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is an airborne telescope for conducting infrared observations from above most of the Earth's atmosphere. Flown in the back of a modified Boeing 747-SP airliner at 40,000 feet, its 2.7 meter reflecting telescope can see into space with less interference from water vapor present at lower altitudes.

We created the Data Cycle System (DCS) to control and maintain the retrieval, and processing of data for SOFIA.

The DCS is a software system that encompasses the entire lifecycle of an observation for the SOFIA observatory. It starts with the design of an observation, where we provide a desktop application for the researcher to define the parameters of their research. From there, the software maintains the control parameters in flight for the telescope. It also encompasses the "pipeline procesisng" of the raw data products to produce the science data that the researcher requires. It allows for the researcher to apply new algorithms as well, after the initial processing has concluded.

Learn more about DCS at the USRA SOFIA Data Cycle System Website