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Herschel Data Products

Overview of Herschel standard products

A wide range of Herschel data products are available, both in 'scope' and 'level'. Most of them are automatically generated by systematic pipeline processing performed at the Herschel Science Centre (HSC) using the Herschel Data Processing system and made available through the Herschel Science Archive (HSA). These products are labelled with the version of the SPG (Standard Product Generation) software used for their production. Others, interactively generated, may eventually become part of the HSA at a later stage of the mission.

The Herschel products (not all of direct interest for the observers) consist of:

- Observational products

  • Contain the scientific data resulting from the Herschel observations
  • Classified depending on the level of the processing of the data they contain, ranging from raw data to highly processed scientific data (see below)
  • Generated per observation (AOR), in contrast with highly processed products that may result from the combination of data from several observations (AORs)
- Auxiliary products
  • Contain all Herschel non-science spacecraft data required directly or indirectly in the processing and analysis of the scientific data.
  • Normally generated per Herschel Operational Day, with the exception of the Herschel Pointing Product that is generated per observation
- Calibration products
  • Contain the parameters that characterise the behaviour of the satellite and the instruments.
  • There are uplink and downlink calibration products. Downlink calibration products are used in the processing of the raw data to produce astronomically calibrated products in which the instrument artefacts have been removed.
- Quality control products
  • Gather a summary of the information required to evaluate the technical quality of the executed observation and the products generated, and provide a global quality assessment
- User Provided Data Products (UPDP)
  • Interactively reduced data provided to the Herschel Science Centre by the observers (initially from the Herschel Key Program consortia only, that commited to do that explicitly, but not excluding other programmes as well, on a voluntary basis)
  • Stored in the HSA and made available to the astronomical community after validation
  • Must follow provided guidelines in terms of format and associated documentation

Overview of Herschel Data Product levels

The various Herschel Data Product levels can be briefly described as follows:

- Level-0 data products

  • Raw telemetry data as measured by the instrument. They might be minimally formatted before its ingestion into the Herschel Science Archive. They are automatically generated by the data processing pipeline
- Level-1 data products
  • Detector readouts calibrated and converted to physical units, in principle instrument and observatory independent
- Level-2 data products
  • Level-1 data further processed to such a level that scientific analysis can be performed
  • For optimal results many of the processing steps involved in the generation of level-2 data may require human interaction
  • Should be suitable for Virtual Observatory access
- Level-2.5 data products
  • Level-2.5 products are being generated from version 6.1.1 of the Herschel Science Product Generation (SPG) software onwards
  • SPIRE level-2.5 products are image mosaics obtained by merging contiguous observations belonging to the same proposal covering sky fields with at least a minimum degree of overlap. From version 11 of the Herschel SPG software onwards they will be, as for PACS level-2.5 products, pairs of scan maps taken in the nominal and orthogonal directions
  • PACS Level-2.5 photometric products are maps combining scan and cross-scan AORs taken on the same sky field
  • PACS Level-2.5 spectroscopic products combine two observations obtained on-target and on a nearby reference off-position in the unchopped range scan observing mode
  • HIFI Level-2.5 map data products are regridded cubes for each of the polarisations and backend sub-bands associated to a given observation
  • HIFI Level-2.5 spectral scan data products are deconvolved level-2 spectra
- Level-3 data products
  • Level-3 data products will be available for PACS and SPIRE from version 11 of the Herschel SPG Software
  • They are image mosaics obtained by merging all or a subset of contiguous observations belonging to the same proposal with at least a minimum degree of overlap

Data proprietary rights

All observations made in the first year of the routine phase had proprietary times of 12 months, while for all observations made later, the proprietary time was 6 months, with a simple 'bridging scheme' so that no observation was made public before observations that were executed earlier became public as well. The proprietary time applies to each observation individually, counted from the day when the data was made available to the data owner. However, a scheme was put in place whereby the Herschel Project Scientist and the HOTAC Chair in consultation could grant additional proprietary time to certain large programmes, in order to prevent the release of improperly or inhomogeneously calibrated or processed data.

Last updated: Thursday, 12-Sep-2013 10:01:59 CEST
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