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Data Products Known Issues

HCSS, SPG, and HIPE

The whole suite of Herschel software is known as the Herschel Common Science System (HCSS). This encompasses all the software aspects related to the mission: automatic pipelines, spacecraft calibrations, etc. As data are retrieved from the spacecraft they are ingested in the Herschel Science Archive (HSA) and processed with the current official version of the pipeline. That means that, at any given time, different data in the HSA may be reduced with different pipeline versions. The pipeline version is listed in the HSA GUI as SPG vX.X.X, where SPG stands for Standard Product Generator. The SPG version is available as the header keyword 'creator', in the data .fits files. Every HCSS version, the whole HSA is bulk re-processed with the same up-to-date version of the pipelines.

From the user point of view, the most important piece of the HCSS system is the Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE). HIPE allows the astronomer the possibility of inspecting the data and re-process them, if the results from the automatic pipeline are not good enough for his/her purposes. Because HIPE is part of the HCSS, the latest version of HIPE will have the most up-to-date pipeline, calibrations and documentation available.

For example, some data in the HSA may be marked SPG v9.1.0, which means that they were processed with that HCSS version (see metadata of the observation to find pipeline processing used for current product in the archive). If the current HCSS version is 12.0.0, HIPE is informally called HIPE 12.0. If you re-reduce the data with this HIPE version with the default parameters, you will get the result that would be produced with the official 12.0.0 pipelines at the Herschel Science Centre. As of the release of HCSS 12.0 nearly all archive products have been processed with SPG version 11.1.0.

The latest version of HIPE can be obtained here. Known HIPE issues/problems/bugs are detailed here.

In what follows, we provide a summary of the known issues that you may encounter when inspecting data processed with the automatic pipelines SPG versions 6.1.x to 12.x.x Most can be resolved by running the pipelines within HIPE and optimizing their parameters as explained below.

Note that some of this information can also be found in the quality report of the observation (QC Report) and as metadata with the FITS keyword "PCAVEATS".

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PACS Photometer (scan mapping)

  • In order to obtain the best possible Level 2 PACS scan-map data, the observations should be reprocessed with the latest HIPE User Release.

  • Important note:
    • PACS maps from any map-maker are in essence differential maps: the absolute level is undefined due to the dominating telescope background removed by map-makers.

  • Intrinsic limitation of highpass filter maps
    • high pass filtered maps are available in level 2 and 2.5 ('HPPPMOS' coaddition pairs of obsids, scan and cross-scan) have extended emission filtered out as a rather small filter width is used to remove 1/f noise stripping to get the best sensitivity for point-sources. Bright sources are masked for highpass filetering hence their flux is not too much affected by filtering. On the other hand faint source (low signal to noise) are barely masked or not masked at all in the SPG processing, hence the flux loss for these point-source can reach up to 20-30%.
    • The error map in the highpass filter branch is scaled from the coverage map to take into account the correlated noise, it is not the result of a full noise propagation in the SPG pipeline.

  • MADmap issues
    • MADmap - a GLS (Generalized Least Square) map-maker - maps are available in level 2.5 ('HPPPCOM') preserve extended emission at all spatial scale.
    • The background MADmap map is sometimes affected by wiggles, from the drift correction, but overall maps are rather reliable since SPG10.
    • However the optical distortion was not applied by the MADmap processing up to SPG11.1, which leads to a flux overestimate of about 6% in the red channel and a minor underestimate (~2%) in the blue channel of the flux scale. This will be corrected in the HCSS v12.1 bulk processing to take place later in 2014.
    • A post-processing removes the artifacts around bright sources, but slight artifacts are still seen round very bright sources.
    • No error map is produced so far by MADmap.

  • JScanam
    • JScanam (HCSS implementation of the Scanamorphos IDL map-maker) maps will be available in level 2.5 as of SPG12 onwards. Meanwhile the JScanam ipipe script to process the maps is available in Hipe 11 and 12. Significant improvements have been achieved in Hipe 12 in memory requirement, processing speed and final map quality.

  • Pointing/Astrometry issues
    • The measured Herschel APE (Absolute Pointing Error) on pointed observation is better that 2 arcsec (1 sigma) and was improved throughout the mission down to 1 arcsec (1-sigma) on most of the fields/observations reprocessed with SPG10.3. If your source is still severely mis-pointed you should contact the HSC helpdesk.

  • One matrix of the red channel array was lost at the end of the mission, so starting OD1375 this matrix (half of the red array) is masked out automatically in the SPG processing.

PACS Photometer Release Notes

PACS photometer AOT release notes see PACS Instrument and Calibration webpage

PACS Spectroscopy

  • In order to get publication quality spectra, the observations should be reprocessed with the latest HIPE user release.

  • Fringing
    • In order to remove the fringing-like bin-to-bin oscillations from the broad-range and SED mode observations (Nyquist sampled grating scans), the observers are advised to reprocess the observations with the user pipeline script provided in HIPE, which includes flat-fielding. The optimal parameters for such task should be determined by inspection of the final results. For Line Spectroscopy observations, the spectral flat-field algorithm is included in the SPG pipeline.

  • Check for contaminating flux in chop-off positions
    • HIPE tools are provided in the latest user release to inspect the chop-off positions separately for nod A and B pointings. This way the observer can verify that the reference positions from which the sky and the telescope background are estimated are appropriate, i.e. no line- or continuum emission is detected at the wavelength of the observation. Note, the tool is reducing data separate for the on- and off-source positions what may not cancel out wriggles from the RSRF. As a consequence, faint line emission in the chop-off fields may not be revealed. For faint targets (line peak-to-continuum emission ~<5-10 Jy) we also recommend to inspect the differential signal of nod positions (A-B) what could reveal the difference of contaminating flux level between the two chop-off fields.

  • PSF correction for extended sources
    • Current flux calibration provides Jy/spaxel in the IFU products (Rebinned Cubes and Projected Cubes). Small variations in the absolute solid angle of the 25 spaxels are currently not taken into account and you need to adopt 9.4"x9.4" size for all spaxels. Point source observations should rely on the PSF correction that the "point source correction" task provides for the central spaxel. High resolution beam maps (v3.0) at selected wavelengths have been made available.

  • Unstable/incorrect broad-band (dust) features
    • Broad spectral features (a few micrometer) and continuum shape difference can be introduced by transient effects and pointing offsets distorting the RSRF. Corrections for these effects are under study. In the mean time, such features should not be interpreted blindly, any feature profile broader than the 69 micron Forsterite feature cannot currently be trusted.

  • Limitations on absolute spectrophotometric accuracy
    • The PACS spectrometer flux calibration accuracy is limited by detector response drifts and slight pointing offsets due to the standard 2" (1-sigma) pointing error . These limit both the absolute flux accuracy and relative accuracy within a band. Corrections for both effects are under study by the PACS ICC and will be provided to the user in forthcoming hipe software versions.

  • Spectral line profiles
    • As for any slit-spectrographs, if the incoming light beam is neither homogeneously- nor symmetrically illuminating a spaxel then line profiles might be distorted from the ideal (fairly Gaussian) shape. In case of a point-source, the line shape is skewed as a function of photocentre offset measured along the instrument Z-axis (perpendicular the slit direction). Examples of skewed line shapes are given in the PACS Observers Manual. Correction for a Gaussian profile fit and/or estimation of skewed profile parameters are under study by the PACS ICC and will be provided to the user in forthcoming hipe software versions.

  • Line flux correction due to strong wings in the instrumental profile (IP)
    • Pre-flight ground-based monochromatic measurements indicated the PACS spectrometer instrumental profile distributes measurable power in spectral line wings. The effect is below ~10% and only noticeable for wavelengths longer than ~150 micrometers. Future HIPE releases will provide a correction factor to apply on a Gaussian fit in order to compensate for line power lost in the IP wings.

  • Spectral leakage
    • The order selection filters of the PACS spectrometer have a steep but not perfectly vertical transmission profile a the cut­off wavelengths of the spectral bands. The PACS spectra near the band borders of Bands R1, B3A and B2B are affected by higher or lower order wavelengths leaking into the spectra. Please consult the PACS Calibration Document for precise specification of the leakage regions and we advise to contact Helpdesk if you need to derive line fluxes within the affected wavelength intervals. In HIPE v11.0 with calibration set v52 a new spectrometer RSRF has been made available for band R1, providing correct line fluxes in red leak region. This RSRF is not applied by default since it increases the noise in the resulting spectrum, but can be used interactively within HIPE.

  • Second-pass ghosts
    • A second pass in the optics of the PACS spectrometer can cause a ghost image on some spaxels (except the central spaxel). If a source in one of the originating spaxels shows a strong spectral line, typically an atomic fine structure line, a weak, broadened line can be seen at an offset wavelength in the corresponding spaxel affected by 2nd pass ghosts. The peak flux of this line is typically ~5% of the line peak of the originating line. The most prominent ghost is the 122 mu feature as its originates from the usually string CII+ 157.7 mu parent line, a list of strong ghosts as well as the direction of projected passes onto the 5x5 footprint is provided in the PACS Calibration Document.

  • NaN's in the final cubes
    • Due to irregularities in data sampling and outlier masking, the rebinned Level 2 spectra could have no data in some bins (indicated as NaNs). Usually the amount of NaNs is less than ~15%, and can be corrected by interpolation (the pipeline does not interpolate by default).

  • Quality flags in the quality product
    • Currently, the quality flags at the quality context inside the observation context are just meant for HSC/ICC internal evaluation of the quality of the products and not for the users. In case the data had some serious quality problem, the PI of the program has been contacted about it. Otherwise, only information in the quality summary, when available, should concern the observers.

PACS Spectrometer Release Notes

PACS spectrometer AOT release notes see PACS Instrument and Calibration webpage

SPIRE Photometry

  • In order to obtain the best possible Level 2 SPIRE photometry data, the observations might have to be reprocessed with the latest HIPE User Release.
    • warning Please note that there was a bug in the destriper task included in HIPE 9.0 that may affect your final map, especially if there are bright objects in the observed field. This has been corrected since HIPE 9.1. If your observation falls in the mentioned category, you are strongly advised to update your HIPE installation.
    • warning In HIPE 10.0 the flagging of thermistor jumps in the level 0.5 to 1 data reduction is not set properly. This induces the destriper to work improperly and to leave stripes in the final map. It has been solved starting with HIPE 10.1.

  • SPIRE-P level 2.5 and level 3 maps
    • For the definitions of the new product levels, introduced with HIPE v11, see The SPIRE Data reduction Guide, sections 3.2.3 and 3.2.4
    • These new levels will be available in the Herschel Science Archive when the observations will be bullk-reprocessed with HIPE v11. The useful user script Photometer_MapMerge.py can be used to make level 2.5 (parallel mode) or level 3 (mosaic) maps, see Section 5.8.3 in the SPIRE Data Reduction Guide.

  • Stripes in PSW, PMW and/or PLW (Level 2) maps
    • All SPIRE photometry pipelines now use by default the destriper, which improves the issue of striping in level 2 maps. Hence observers should expect potential improvements in that respect with version 9.

  • De-glitchter masks faint sources
    • The de-glitcher is a very delicate process. In particular, for data taken in Parallel Mode (sampling at 10Hz) and at high speed (60"/s) the de-glitcher with standard parameters may flag very faint sources as glitches. Bright sources are different from glitches in that they have a gaussian (i.e. beam/PSF) shape. For faint sources, the sampling rate could be not high enough and hence they have a "delta" shape, which is similar to a small glitch. The user might try to modify the correlation parameter to 0.95: this will decrease the number of detected glitches.

  • Some sources have saturated the ADC and the corresponding data have been masked
    • There is nothing a user can do: the source was simply too bright. If the user has other sources still not observed and of the same intensity, it is suggested to change the AORs to use the bright source mode.

  • Thermistor jumps
    • As of HIPE 6.0.3, a new module together called signalJumpDetector in place to identify the jump and to exclude the affected thermistor(s).

  • Cooler temperature variations
    • The cooler temperature variations, as explained in greater details in the SPIRE Data Reduction Guide, section 6.4, can affect observations performed soon after the cooler recycle. The steep rise of the sub-K detector temperature is also known as the cooler burp and there is a quality flag coolerBurpFound in HIPE v11 that indicates if the observation was performed during this period. Up to HIPE v11 the cooler burp is only reported in the quality, so if users want to improve the maps with coolerBurpFound=True, then reprocessing with the user script in HIPE v12 or later, or submitting an on-demand processing to the HSA, would correct for this effect.

  • NaNs pixels present in the PSW, PMW and/or PLW (Level 2) maps
    • This effect, related to data masked for various reasons and poor coverage (not enough redundancy), is more evident in single fast-scan Parallel Mode maps. To avoid NaNs, increase the pixel's dimension (i.e., decrease the map's resolution)

  • WCS in 3-colour images
    • In all observation reduced with HIPE 8, the task createRgbImage puts wrong WCS in the output. Instead of using the WCS provided by the WCS input parameter, this task uses the WCS of one of the input images. This has been fixed in HIPE 9

  • Quality flags
    • Currently, the quality flags at the quality context inside the observation context are just meant for HSC/ICC internal evaluation of the quality of the products and not for the users. In case the data had some serious quality problem, the PI of the program has been contacted about it. Otherwise, only information in the quality summary, when available, should concern the observers.

SPIRE Photometer Release Notes

SPIRE scan map release note : 20 October 2009

SPIRE Small Scan Map AOT release note: 17 Mar 2010

SPIRE/FTS Spectroscopy

  • In order to obtain the best possible Level 2 SPIRE FTS data, the observations should be reprocessed with the latest HIPE User Release.

  • Bright source mode: observations in bright source mode processed with HIPE v7 or earlier result in spectra that have no scientific value. Bright source observations processed with HIPE v8 or above are fine. The observer should contact the HSC helpdesk or the FTS User Support Group for assistance for re-processing with the HIPE user script.

  • Low resolution (LR) observations: the LR mode processing with HIPE v9 or above are improved with respect to previous versions, but there may still be artefacts which in most cases can be corrected using the background subtraction useful script. The observer is encouraged to contact the HSC helpdesk or the FTS User Support Group in case of problems.

  • High + Low resolution (H+LR) observations: The LR part of the H+LR observations is not properly calibrated and should not be used. The FTS team is working on improving the calibration and as soon as we have a validated proper calibration we will implement it and reprocess the H+LR data.

  • Faint point source observations: if the SSW and SLW bands do not match up for a source that is known to be a point source, observers are recommended to run the background subtraction script in HIPE - more details are in the SPIRE Data Reduction Guide. If this doesn't solve the problem, the observer is encouraged to contact the HSC helpdesk or the FTS User Support Group.

  • Artefacts in the continuum for few repetitions
    • Very small repetition numbers (e.g. 2 or 4) make 2nd level deglitching, which is based on a statistical outlier criterion, more challenging. The deglitching module may either not identify a glitch at all or it may not remove it completely. In cases where the glitch is located within the double-sided portion of the interferogram, the additional energy from the glitch will translate into artefacts of the continuum level. This kind of problem can be identified by inspecting all detectors from all scans in the level-1 spectral products. For some detectors, one or several scans may appear to be outliers. As a work-around, it is recommended to reprocess the data with a lower thresholdFactor when calling deglitchIfgm(). If the problem persists, the identified detector should be removed from the applicable scan in the SDI product.
      (NB: This affects HIPE 6 and higher)

  • Line fitting
    • If you know that the line you wish to measure is unresolved then you may want to fix the line width to the instrumental line width. For the Sinc model, implemented in the SpectrumFitterGUI you should put the Sinc width equal to resolution/π, which, for HR is 1.2/π = 0.382 GHz.

  • Point source and extended source spectra
    • If your level-2 spectra show characteristic jumps at ~1250 GHz and ~750 GHz, and the spectra from the two bands SSW and SLW do not match, then your target is extended or semi-extended in the SPIRE beam. You need to use the semi-extended correction tool (SECT) available since HIPE v10. Check the SPIRE Data Reduction guide, Section 6.5.

  • Quality flags in the quality
    • Currently, the quality flags at the quality context inside the observation context are just meant for HSC/ICC internal evaluation of the quality of the products and not for the users. In case the data had some serious quality problem, the PI of the program has been contacted about it. Otherwise, only information in the quality summary, when available, should concern the observers.
    • For observations before OD1000 there could be an erroneously raised or a missing flag RADECACC. This flag is calculated as the difference between the observer requested target coordinates (kept in a metadata raNominal, decNominal) and the average pointing of the telescope during the observation (excluding the slew). This is an indicator of the pointing accuracy of the observation. If greater than 2.2" then RADECACC is raised in the QC context. The calculation of the average ra, dec during the observation does not take into account the known offset of 1.7" of the BSM home position for OD < 1000 and consequently observations with better pointing than 2.2" may be flagged and vice versa, observations at more than 2.2" may not be flagged. If you want to check the pointing offset with respect to the requested target coordinates then you should use the pointing information for the central detector SSWD4 in the level-2 context.

  • Observations during the steep rise of the sub-K temperature
    • During the first few hours after the cooler was recycled the bolometers' temperature (the sub-K temperature) undergoes a steep rise before it reaches a stable plateau. Observations during this period suffer overcorrection of the instrument/telescope emission. This is more significant for faint targets and can be identified as an unphysical slope of the SLW spectrum, with an important negative gap in the region that overlaps with SSW (see the Figure). One way to check if your observation is within this problematic category is to get the median sub-K temperature for the first building block: print MEDIAN(obs.level0_5.get(0xA1060001).nhkt['signal']['SUBKTEMP'].data), where obs is the pre-loaded observational context. If the result is less than 0.2869 K then the observation is affected by this. A fix will be available in HIPE v13 (expected autumn 2014), but if your observation is affected please contact the HSC helpdesk.

Steep-subK-case.png

SPIRE Spectroscopy Release Notes

SPIRE Spectrometer Point Source AOT release note: 21 May 2010

SPIRE Spectrometer Bright Source Mode AOT release note: 7 Sep 2010

SPIRE Spectrometer Mapping AOT release note: 30 Apr 2010

HIFI observations (point mode, spectral survey and mapping observations)

In order to obtain the best possible Level 2 HIFI data the observations should be reprocessed with the latest HIPE User Release.

  • Corrupted data-frames
    • There is a limited number of obsids where one or more data-frames from the spectrometers is corrupted in some fashion and leads to level 2 products that cannot be properly calibrated. A scheme was put in place some versions ago to flag or simply remove those frames at level 0 so the final products won't be affected by them. This scheme however suffered from a regression bug in 11.1 so that the corresponding products did not benefit from this correction properly. We note however that this should only concern about 50 obsids in the whole HIFI archive. This will be fixed in HIPE 12.

  • Strong/Weak Spurs
    • Spurs are still affecting the HIFI data at spot frequency points. They will be flagged automatically in the data using a SpurFinder? task when present above a certain threshold in the internal load spectra. There are still some spur categories that are not yet properly detected but this is improving in each new versions of HIPE. Some spurs are so intense and broad that they can lead to the loss of complete WBS sub-bands. Note that the strong spur affecting the upper end of band 1a has now been completely cleaned - see the corresponding technical note: HIFI Information note on the removal of spurs in band 1a and the sampling in the mapping modes. The same is true for a weaker spur that did affect data in band 7b close to LO = 1834 GHz.

  • Unpumped data
    • Due to gaps in the LO output power over the HIFI frequency range, some spectral scans will contain spectra that cannot be used due their very high noise temperature levels. These data should be discarded from further processing (e.g. deconvolution). For single frequency observations, there exist some places where the theoretical noise temperature (i.e. the one advertised by HSpot) should be nominal, but the sensitivity effectively achieved at the time of observations is noticeably worse. These are cases where the mixer tuning algorithm does not fully converge. Such cases have e.g. been reported around LO frequencies of ~ 1441.5 GHz. An overview of the expected unpumped frequency areas is given in the AOT release notes. Users observing such effects should contact the Helpdesk.

  • Standing waves
    • There are a variety of standing waves known to affect the data at Level2 - see the AOT release notes for more details. At the present time, the FitHifiFringe tool usually does a decent job for most standing waves in SIS bands. In HEB bands, where the standing wave is not of optical nature and does have a strictly sinusoidal shape, FitHifiFringe can help when restricted to the frequency range where the line is present. Another alternative in the form of a dedicated algorithm has been developed (so-called "matching technique") and is offered in the hebCorrection task from HIPE 12.0 onwards (details can be found in Chapter 10 of the HIFI Data Reduction Guide). You can contact Ian Avruch (i.avruch@sron.nl) at the HIFI ICC for further details. In any case, it is advised not to use more than 3 components in FitHifiFringe. Since HIPE 5, a number of new features have been made available in FitHifiFringe. One of them ("sub_base" option) allows you to fit a baseline at the same time. Since FitHifiFringe can identify automatically the lines in order to set masks, users should be careful when treating lines with large wings. In this case, the user should set a window by hand. The automatic line masking should then be switched off.
    • In case of strong source continuum some standing waves can be enhanced. Such standing waves can be significantly reduced in amplitude using an alternative pipeline algorithm known as the Modified Passband Technique , which is described in the Standing Wave Removal chapter of the HIFI Data Reduction Guide. Note that in 9.0, a bug affected the doFilterLoad task in such a way that it ignored the user-input parameters, resulting in the task always applying the "cubic_spline" method with default parameters - i.e. the "fft" method will not be applied despite being set in the task inputs. This was fixed in 9.1 before the SPG 9.1.0 bulk reprocessing of the archive.

  • Baseline distortion
    • Residual drift from the detector response can translate into imperfect baseline structures. This usually manifests as wavy structures, slopes, or overall level offsets of the spectral baselines. Such artefacts are expected to be enhanced e.g. at the borders of spectra obtained in diplexer bands (sub-bands 1 and 4 for bands 3 and 4, sub-bands 2 and 4 for bands 6 and 7). Similar artefacts are also expected when using modes without reference, such as the FreqSwitchNoRef, or the LoadChopNoRef, and are enhanced with strong continuum sources. Please refer to the Data Reduction Guide for details about the most recent improvements to the FitBaseline task.

  • Saturation
    • Saturation of the WBS CCDs may be observed at spot frequencies. These are usually due to either strong and broad spurs, or to cases where only marginal pump level could be achieved due to shortage of LO output power. Users can go back to HSpot to visualize in the frequency editor where their AORs were potentially affected by such effects. HIPE will normally flag the affected spectrometer channels.

  • Beam efficiencies
    • The easiest way to convert the level2 data into the Tmb scale is to use the task "doMainBeamTemp".

  • Side-band ratio and continuum
    • The data processed at level2 are corrected for the fact that HIFI observes in double-side band. In practice, a side-band ratio is assumed over most of the HIFI operational range, which simply means that single-side band intensities are twice those in double-side band. In the limited ranges where this side-band ratio deviates from unity, the intensity scaling will differ for respective USB and LSB spectra. It will also imply that the continuum cannot be trusted in these frequency range. A dedicated task to recover the continuum corresponding to a balanced side-band ratio was made available in HIPE 9.0.

  • H/V polarisation pointing information
    • The observed differences in HIFI horizontal (H) and vertical (V) polarisation line profiles has made it desirable to have astrometry available for both H and V spectrometers. The possibility that small scale structural or velocity variations may be responsible can then be examined. In the past, the pointing information associated with both H- and V- spectra has been that of a synthesized aperture, which is a position midway between the H and V spectrometer beams. From HIPE 4.2 onwards, an option has been introduced in the doPointing task, allowing to compute separate attitude for the respective mixer polarizations. From HIPE 5 onwards, this option is the one used by default. In practice, note that this slight pointing mis-alignment can lead to differences between the H and V signals observed both in spectral lines and continuum, especially when the source structure features abrupt brightness temperature variation on small spatial scales.

  • CCD "scratches"
    • The WBS CCDs are known to be affected by so-called "scratches" present on their optics. These small damages can translate into small spikes showing up at particular channels of the WBS data, however they should be removed by the calibration scheme. This removal was improved in particular from HIPE 6.1 onwards. Users who think that they might be still observing such effects should contact the Helpdesk.

  • Platforming effect
    • There exists the possibility that residual platforming effect, i.e. imbalance between the average baseline level of individual WBS sub-bands, is still observed at level2. This is usually due to temperature drifts of the CCD during the observations. There is no dedicated tool in the HCSS to correct this effect and users should avoid stitching their data when such artifact is present in the data. Correction of the relative baseline level of each sub-band is left to the user's judgment.

  • RA/Dec information in headers
    • The astrometry information provided in the meta-data of the various products has not always been accurate for HIFI data. This has now been fixed in the products generated by the bulk reprocessing with 8.2.1. Note that there is still a problem wit the moving targets, for which the reported ra/decNominal (i.e. the intended position at the time of observation) is not yet correct. If you observe an anomalous position reported in your (fixed target) data, please let us know via the helpdesk.

  • Quality flags in the quality product
    • Currently, the quality flags at the quality context inside the observation context are just meant for HSC/ICC internal evaluation of the quality of the products and not for the users. In case the data had some serious quality problem, the PI of the program has been contacted about it. Otherwise, only information in the quality summary, when available, should concern the observers.

  • Map visualisation and cubes
    • The visualisation software offered in HIPE 9 onwards has had significant improvements since the previous version, in particular it has been merged with the spectrum explorer. Note that there can be problems in the cubes generated in the case of single line (stripes) maps with HIPE 8.2. In those cases, the cube dimensions may not be correct. Also, cubes for raster maps may not be optimal when generated with HIPE versions earlier than 8.2. This issue is fixed from HIPE 9 onwards

  • Browse products
    • HIPE 9 introduced browse products for mapping and spectral scan observations. For maps of moving targets, note that the browse product images are displayed in the comoving frame, so a centre of RA/Dec = (0",0") is used. These include deconvolved spectra (but see following note) for spectral scans and spectra/line maps for a standardly gridded map for mapping observations.

  • Deconvolution of Frequency Switching data
    • The deconvolution software will not work properly with frequency switching data. This is intrinsically linked to the fact that the deconvolution algorithm has troubles with constant steps in the frequency dimension, and that frequency switching observations uses uniform frequency throws. This creates some periodic ghost artifacts close to strong lines.

  • Reprocessing from raw data
    • Some expert users may want to reprocess their data starting from raw telemetry (so-called level-1). From HIPE 9 onwards additional telemetry (notably from th ACMS system) was added to the products. In order to avoid problems with missing these products from earlier downloads, the following can be temporarily added to your local configuration property: hcss.ia.spg.ops.AuxPlugin.products={..., herschel.ia.obs.auxiliary.acms.AcmsTelemetryProduct, ...}

  • Flux Conservation in Spectral Cubes from Mapping Observations
    • The doGridding task in the HIFI pipeline is responsible for convolving the spectral datasets acquired in an OTF or DBS Raster mapping observation into a spectral cube with a specified pixel scale, which by default should match how the scan lines and readout points within each line were spaced during the observation. The scheme of signal filtering and interpolation to put the data on the specified grid may affect the overall flux conservation, at a level which is low but you should be aware of. For example, the total signal summed from a spectral cube produced using a Gaussian filter over the datasets of a Nyquist-sampled OTF map is generally < 1% lower than the sum of the signal taken directly from the input datasets (the Level 2 HTP datasets) before convolution. A part or all of this slight mismatch may be on the assumed versus actual beam shape at the observed frequency. If you wish to put the map on a coarser grid, effectively reducing the spatial resolution to a wider beam in order to match another observation, then the flux losses become more noticeable. Doubling the pixels sizes from their default (native map point spacing) can reduce the total flux by as much as 10%, accompanied by an increase in baseline RMS noise. The effect is more prevalent in OTF maps than DBS Raster, and in addition to deviations from ideal beam shape characteristics becoming more important, the filtering and interpolation method, and parameter values can be influential. No changes to the doGridding algorithm are planned, and this issue applies to all HIPE versions.

  • Retrieval of calibration files from the HSA
    • In HIPE versions from the track 9, there is small bug in the getHifiCal task. The task may erroneously report that the latest calibration tree available is HIFI_CAL_9_0, while more recent versions are now available. This issue is solved in HIPE 10. This is not a problem with the HIPE 11 build. One possible work-around is to clear the calibration pool in your .hcss/lstore, and call the task again or simply use the updated HIPE version. Then the latest calibration tree should be offered for download.

HIFI Release Notes

HIFI Dual Beam Switching Observing Modes AOT release note: 9 Mar 2010

HIFI Oberving Modes AOT release note: 11 Apr 2010

HIFI AOT Observing Mode Release and Performance Notes v3.0: 24 September 2011

Other Technical Notes

PACS documents: see PACS Instrument and Calibration webpage

HIFI Information note on Mapping Modes: 30 Jun 2010

HIFI Beam Efficiencies from Mars Observations: 17 Nov 2010

HIFI Information note on the removal of spurs in band 1a and the sampling in the mapping modes: 19 Nov 2010

Calibration Documents

PACS photometer and spectrometer calibration documents: see PACS Instrument and Calibration webpage

SPIRE Photometer Beams (FTP repository)

HIFI System noise temperature IF spectra (FTP repository)

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