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What's new in HIPE 14

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Help Interested in what's new for other versions of HIPE? See this page for links to all the What's New documents from HIPE 4.0 onwards.
See also the HIPE known issues and the Data products known issues pages for last-minute information on known problems.



  • Now you can pass arguments to scripts in batch mode (former jylaunch).
  • New Quick Analysis perspective allows GUI download of products and processing all within HIPE.
  • New product Auxiliary Observation Summary Product with information about the observation in a simple dataset.
  • Quality flags have been reorganised.


  • Introduction of a new calibration output providing a frequency-dependent intensity calibration uncertainty budget
  • Update of sideband ratio in bands 1 to 4
  • Provision of spur channel flags for all modes (was limited to spectral scan up to HIPE 13)
  • Changes to the output of the Deconvolution task.
  • New parameters for the removal tasks and updated functionality for *identifyLines.
  • Legacy quality documentation.


  • Updates to high level products: Photometry level 2.5 and the creation of the Spectroscopy levels 2.5 and 3 (not really products but tables of spectra).
    • Photometer: Maps of solar system objects have been created for this version.
    • Spectrometer: Tables of spectra in level 2.5 and 3, as mentioned above.
  • Unimap mapper has been upgraded to the latest version.
  • There are new scripts making use of JScanam. There is also a script to generate drizzled cubes.
  • New spectroscopy calibration for extended sources which also works for off-centre point sources. New beam calibration and background model.
  • New useful and analysis scripts to account for these calibration changes (beam and background related).
  • A new task runPacsSpg has been introduced, with which users can run the full PACS SPG pipeline from within HIPE.


  • FTS
    • Two new tasks and corresponding calibration products have been introduced for SPIRE FTS data. One task corrects for artefacts in low resolution point source calibrated spectra. The other corrects the level of all extended source calibrated data in or to get better agreement between the SPIRE Spectrometer and Photometer.

Core system


Editors & Viewers

Default editor

The default editor for every type of data, which is the one used when double clicking on a variable, is preserved regardless the editors opened through the Open With menu.

The previous behaviour, which is to use the last opened editor as the default, can still be set, by means of a new preference in the Editors & Viewers category.

Recent open files

The size of the recently opened files list, which can be accessed through the File menu, is now configurable through preferences.

Metadata tables

A new option in the popup menu of metadata tables allows copying cell values in other way than with the usual key combinations (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).

Array data viewer

The array data viewer shows tooltips over the spinners (above the data table) for informing about the array dimensions.

Quick Analysis

There is a new perspective in HIPE, which is accessible by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top right toolbar, for quickly inspecting scientific data from the Herschel Science Archive.

Observations can be searched by target name, observation id, operational day or Ra/Dec.

When clicking on an observation, its standalone browse products are opened in the editor area for quick analysis, by means of the image, spectra or cube viewers.

Opening the observation context instead is also possible, either with the popup menu or by configuring so as the default behaviour, in the Quick Analysis preferences category.

Command line

It is now possible to pass arguments to HIPE from the command line, which will be tried to be interpreted as files to be opened with the proper viewers. For example:

bash> hipe myImage.jpg cube.fits resultTable.csv

would open HIPE with three viewers: one for the image, a spectrum explorer for the cube, and a dataset viewer for the CSV table.

ALERT! Note:

Passing a Jython script as the first argument will still behave as running HIPE in batch mode:

bash> hipe arg1 arg2

would not open the HIPE window, but execute the script with the given arguments passed to it.


There are interesting enhancements in the Console view with HIPE 14.0:

  • Text edit options (cut/copy/paste) are available not only by the usual key combinations, but also with the popup menu.
  • Autocompletion through the tab key has been tremendously improved in this release, making Jython coder's life much easier.
  • The console built-in help, shown with help, is now more practical and understandable.




Dataset viewer

Astronomical utilities

  • Gyro-based attitude reconstruction, see the dedicated section in the Spacecraft and Observatory pages.
  • Special corrections in pointing products to handle S/C operational events have been included in the auxiliary processors. Namely, the corrections are:
    • STR switch-overs, i.e. changes from the usually prime star-tracker (STR1) to the backup unit (STR2)
    • Reset of the Spacecraft Velocity Vector (SVV) that is used by the STR to compute the aberration correction of the coordinates of guide stars. For more information please refer to the the dedicated section in the Spacecraft and Observatory pages.

Numeric routines

Data fitting

Data interpolation

Random numbers


Trend analysis


Other functions

Source extraction

  • Improved error reporting for bad inputs.


  • When requesting the unit, the FITS compatible unit is returned.
  • The naxis keywords are not longer duplicated in the fits header.
  • The Wcs ia added to all datasets of the images (like the stddev, ...).


  • Added shortcuts to some of the task directly in the image viewer.





Data cubes

  • When requesting the unit, the FITS compatible unit is returned.
  • The naxis keywords are not longer duplicated in the fits header.
  • The Wcs ia added to all datasets of the images (like the stddev, ...).


  • Added shortcuts to some of the task directly in the image viewer.
  • A new viewer has been introduced to explore ParameterCube products which contain the results of the spectrum fitter on spectral cubes.
  • Several improvements to the cube tools of the spectrum explorer:
    • Tooltips added to task selection drop down menu.
    • Improved the spatial selection for the crop task.
    • Fixed some problems with displaying cubes when there is little space for the spectrum explorer, e.g. when it is embedded in the observation context viewer.


Herschel Science Archive

Calibration sources

Products and datasets

A new Auxiliary Observation Summary Product which can be retrieved using the tag LATEST_OBSERVATION_SUMMARY_PRODUCT. This product contains one dataset with a summary of information for each observation. Useful methods exist for querying the data as documented here: ObservationSummaryProduct

Observation context

A new Calibration Table Product exists under the Auxiliary Context in each Observation Context. This product contains calibration tables data for the given instrument including exactly how the hardware was configured, hard limits, soft limits etc. This provides valuable information for the long term completeness of an observation. Useful methods exist for querying the table data as documented here: SimpleCalTableProduct

Product Access Layer


Improved history recording so that it can be added to the sub-products of a context.

Quality control

Reorganization of quality flags as private or public for HCSS, HIFI, PACS and SPIRE Quality Flags. This ensures that only the flags useful for the assessment of the science by the user (the public ones) make its way to the quality summary.All the information from the quality flags remain at the quality product, for internal assessment or history.

In the quality report, a new "¤mpact" column in the "Quality flags" table, after "Concept" and "Value" columns has been added. This new column is an automatically filled column with a brief text describing the possible consequences for science data from the situations that caused that quality flag to be raised.

Improvement of readability of quality flags in the meta data of products in FITS files. Now one meta data item per quality flag making proper use of parameter values and descriptions.

eg.) qflag_PARXXXXX_p <value> ⁄ <description>

Systematic product generation

Data input-output

Virtual Observatory


The user installer has been reduced by 400-800MB by removing the pointing distortion maps previously included with the data a part of user installation.



HIFI Software Configuration and Properties

HIFI Calibration

  • A new calibration tree has been implemented in HIPE 14.0. It contains substantial changes in the sideband ratio tables, as well as a complete intensity calibration uncertainty component model. The corresponding UncertaintyTable products are available in calibration -> Downlink -> Generic and were updated with the following uncertaintyType HotLoadTemp, ColdLoadTemp, HotLoadCoupling, ColdLoadCoupling, SidebandRatio, OpticalStandingWavesLoads, OpticalStandingWavesDiplexer
  • The new calibration tree also provides tables of spur warning channel flags for point and mapping modes. These flags are assigned based on a knowledgebase built out of the spur flags manually identified for spectral scans and populated in the calibration tree in HIPE 13.0
  • The sideband ratio updates will imply changes in intensity at all frequencies in bands 1 to 4. No changes are expected in bands 5 to 7.

HIFI Pipeline

hifiPipeline task

Level 0 Pipeline

WBS Pipeline

HRS Pipeline

Level 1 Pipeline

Level 2 Pipeline

  • For DBS Raster maps, the Level 2 spectra are no longer averaged - this was already the case for OTF maps
  • Introduction of a new calibration output providing a frequency-dependent intensity calibration uncertainty budget
  • Assignment of spur warning channel flag for all point and mapping modes

Level 2.5 Pipeline

  • Changes to the output of the Deconvolution task: the single-sideband spectrum is now contained in a Spectrum1d called "dataset" (it was called "ssb" up to HIPE 13).

HIFI Products

  • New quality flags information:
    • updates of a few QFs names/descriptions (which were obsolete), deleting a few obsolete flags
    • reorganisation of categories in the documentation (from class 1 to 3, by how severe the impact they may have on the science)
    • updates to the impact and action text following a legacy use
    • updates to the quality report, now including the text for public flags (impact and action)
  • Flags are now applied to OFF spectra as well
  • BrowseProduct: generation of a browse image for the reference spectra, when the option useReferenceSpectra is set to true
  • The FITS header keywords have been revamped in order to provide proper nicknames to the parameters featured in those headers

HIFI Spectrum Toolbox

Spectrum Explorer (HIFI specifics)

Spectrum tasks (HIFI specifics)

HIFI Data Processing Tools

Standing Wave Removal

  • New parameter addMedianContinuum: allow the median continuum to be added back into the baseline fit flux [DEFAULT: False]

Baseline Removal

  • New parameter addMedianContinuum: allow the median continuum to be added back into the baseline fit flux but only performs well for basemode='sub' and not basemode='div' [DEFAULT: False]


  • The output deconvolution product ssb is now called dataset (please note that scripts prior to this change will break)

Spectral Cube creation



  • Updates to the task include:
    • Implementation of threading to speed up the task
    • Improvements of the rejection of false detected lines
    • Changes on the Herschel Spectral Line List columns names
    • Implementation of the image band line identification for pointed and mapping observations
    • Fix to the rms computation
    • Parameters change: toleranceEmission and toleranceAbsorption has become toleranceFactorEmi and toleranceFactorAbs (may break scripts prior to this change)
    • New parameter snrType: the signal to noise ratio calculation algorithm (Intensity or Flux)
    • Implementation of the exportLines task

HiClass export tool

  • Although this is not an HCSS development, it should be noted that GILDAS/Class now reads the HCSS-generated FITS without needing any prior conversion as it used to be the case using the HiClass task.


For HCSS 14, many figures were refreshed in both manuals (HIFI Data Reduction Guide and HIFI Pipeline Specification).

  • Updates to the HIFI Data Reduction Guide:
    • Updates to the chapters Standing wave Removal and HIFI Baseline Removal : adding definition of the new parameter addMedianContinuum
    • Updates to the chapter Flags in HIFI data, section Quality Flags (this chapter is being revamped, please check regularly)
    • Updates to the chapter How to make a spectral cube: added a definition for parameters ignoreOffs, outputNames and extrapolate
    • Updates to the chapter Sideband Deconvolution: the output deconvolution product ssb is now called dataset (please note that scripts prior to this change will break)
    • Updates to the chapter Standing wave Removal, ESW correction in HEB bands section: update to the scripts in the demonstration subsection
    • Updates to the chapter How to add and remove flags, section Setting and Clearing Flags with command line tools: improved the definition of the parameter selection for Level 2.5 cubes
    • A new chapter called Understanding the uncertainty table information in your data has been added
    • Updates to the chapter The HIFI line identification tool, adding a section called The exportLines Task
  • Updates to the HIFI Pipeline Specification manual
    • This manual has been restructured
    • Removal of the task mkSpur
    • Corrections to broken links pointing to the HIFI Data Reduction Guide
    • Correction due to a missing figure Level 0 Pipeline flow diagram
    • Added text to tasks which did not have text, or were poorly documented, including mkRms
    • Updates to several tasks on flags information



* A new task runPacsSpg has been introduced, with which a user can run a full SPG pipeline within HIPE, starting from the level-0 data in an observation context from the HSA, or even from the raw telemetry files when they are available.


  • Level2.5 products:
    • Unimap and Jscanam maps are now generated for Solar System Objects, from combined scan and cross-scan observations.
    • A block detection and masking method has been implemented, this avoids strong signal gradients being generated by the calibration blocks. The quality of Level2.5 maps is enhanced in particular for those observations acquired at the early stage of the mission (e.g. Science Demonstration Phase), when the calibration blocks were acquired in the middle of the an observation.
  • Interactive pipeline scripts:
    • The JScanam ipipe script scanmap_JScanam_multiplePairs is designed to process multiple pairs of obsIDs and it has been upgraded by introducing the scanamorphosAlignFrames Task. This task aligns the Frames signal levels, belonging to every observation, to a common offset level, by exploiting the overlapping sky regions. This new capability is particulary useful for recovering a common background level over observations that are partially or slightly overlapping.
    • The script scanmap_Unimap_memory_optimized has been added to the Pipelines menu. This allows one to run the Unimap release located on the userĺs computer while using the minimum amount of memory. It is particularly useful for processing large observations or/and if several obsIDs should be processed all together in a single run.
    • The script photextended_pipeline_L3 is now available in the Pipelines menu. This can be used to generate mosaics of Unimap and Jscanam Level2.5 maps.
  • Unimap : Unimap 6.2.0 is spawned by the Standard Product Generator (SPG) to create Level2.5 products. See the Photometer Data Reduction Guide and the offical Unimap webpages ( to know What's New about the 6.2.0 Unimap release.


  • Level 2/2.5 extracted spectra tables:
    • A new product is provided at Level 2 for all (line, range, chopNod, unchopped) pointed observations, and also at Level 2.5 for the subset of unchopped, rangeScan observations. This table, HPSSPEC[R|B], contains the extracted spectrum of the central spaxel, and the point source calibrated spectra "c1" and "c129" from the pipeline task extractCentralSpectrum. Since the point-source calibrated spectra are taken from the centre of the cube, it is necessary that the source is located within spaxel 2,2 (the central one). However, we make no determination that the target of the observation actually is a point source - that is up to the end-user to establish. These tables are also provided as standalone browse products.
  • Level 3 extracted spectra table:
    • The new spectrum tables from Level 2 for the pointed, chopNod, full SED observations, are concatenated into a single table which is placed in Level 3. This table, HPSSPEC, contains the extracted spectra for all the observations that were taken to cover the full spectral range (the full SED) of PACS for that target (this will be usually two, sometimes three, separate observations). Moreoever, the red and blue camera, and all slices, are included this single table. This table is also provided as a standalone browse product.
  • Interactive pipeline scripts:
    • The pipeline menu has been reworded, so that the names reflect better what the individual scripts do. The first script offered in each menu is also the preferred one, and that on which the SPG scripts are based.
    • A new pipeline script has been written to create drizzled cubes, based on (and almost hardly different to) the 'Telescope normalisation' pipeline script for chopNod line scans. With this script it is now possible to create drizzle cubes using this preferred pipeline method (in Track 13 it was not possible).
    • There have been small, but potentially significant changes to some of the tasks in the 'Pointing offset correction' scripts (chopNod) and the '...with transients" scripts (unchopped). These are, respectively, to the tasks specDetermineChiSquare and specLongTermTransient. The improvements are "under the hood" so there is no change in the user scripts themselves.
    • The range scan flatfielding task now performs a cubic spline fitting to the continuum of the spectra. This produces the same results as previously with the polynomial fit for shorter ranges, but improved results for longer ranges (especially SEDs) and is more robust against curvature changes in the spectra.
  • SPG scripts:
    • The range scan observations are now flatfielded: using the spline fitting method for ranges longer than 5 microns, and using the line scan flatfielding for the shorter ranges
    • The range scan observations are now flatfielded: using the line scan flatfielding (specFlatFieldLine) for shorter ranges than 5 microns, and using specFlatFieldRange with the cubic spline fitting method for ranges longer than 5 microns. In the latter case, we exclude the spectral regions affected by leakeage in the correspondent bands during the fit, as the calibration is incorrect for those ranges. Additionally, these spectral ranges are trimmed out via the 'NOTFFED' mask.
    • The interpolated cubes are no longer produced for oversample range scan mapping observations, and they also have a smaller spaxel size of 3" (rather than 4.7" before).
    • The interpolation algorithm in specInterpolate produces now NaN values in case one of the input spaxels has a NaN value, instead of producing skewed values due to a missing flux value. This results in more NaN values in the interpolated cubes, but avoids non-reliable values instead.




  • The extended-source calibrated rebinned cubes (level2) contain now a correction that accounts for the non-uniform illumination of the PACS IFU field-of-view. It stems from the fact that the 9.4"x9.4" spaxel edges are less responsive than their centres, translating into a spaxel active area of approximately 8"x8" where the response is flat. This effect is more severe at shorter wavelengths, and affects (very) extended emission, as well as off-centred point sources and any source that has a size between a point and a very extended. All Level 2/2.5 cubes for these types of sources will be affected, whether pointed or mapping.
    Hence, for centred point source extracted with the task extractCentralSpectrum, no change to the spectra are expected in this version of HIPE because of this effect. For very extended sources, we have developed a new Extended Source Correction calibration file (ExtendedSourceLoss, applied in the pipeline tasks specRespCal and specRespCalToTelescope), and this incorporates the necessary correction as part of the spatial flatfielding for the PACS spectrometer. For these sources, the fluxes of the spectra will differ to what was obtained in previous versions of HIPE. For intermediate sources, a more complex analysis is necessary to estimate the flux loss, and a task to do this will be provided in HIPE 15.
    The fluxes of the spaxels of all cubes will be increased by ~30% in the blue to ~5% in the red. The calibration file can be inspected to extract the curve:
    w = calTree.spectrometer.extendedSourceLoss["wavelength"].data
    f = calTree.spectrometer.extendedSourceLoss["fraction"].data
    p=PlotXY(w, 1./f)
    After such a correction, a source of flat surface brightness within the field of view of a single pointing will be well calibrated at the level of the rebinned cubes (i.e. level2).The flux loss between the detectors was already accounted for in the point-source calibration correction in the correspondent calibration file, therefore, point-source calibrated spectra of centred point sources are not affected. For this reason, in HIPE 14, the extractCentralSpectrum task checks and removes the extendedSourceLoss correction from the level2 cubes, in case it has been applied, before extracting the final point source corrected spectrum. However, if working with off-centred point sources and using the tasks extractSpaxelSpectrum and pointSourceLossCorrection, this correction is not taken out, and hence the results will be incorrect. An extra task/function is necessary: to get this, raise a helpdesk ticket.

  • New beam calibration files have been delivered, differing from the previous files only in the way they are normalised. These will be used in a new task being developed in HIPE 15, and do not impact on HIPE 14 or SPG 14 in any way.
    • In the spatial domain, they are normalised such that the sum of all spaxels is 1 when a point source of flux 1 is observed at the peak position of the central spaxel;
    • In the wavelength domain, the central spaxel is normalised to match the Point Source Correction calibration file.
  • A slightly updated telescope background model for use in the Pointing Offset Correction pipeline script for point sources has been developed. This update is to allow better consistency between the "POC" script and the default pipeline script "Telescope normaliation", for chopNod AOTs. The changes are at the percent level and largest in band B3A.

Analysis tools


  • The PhotometryConvolveResolution Kernel script was added within the PACS Useful Script section. This script convolves and regrids a map at a certain wavelength to the PSF of another map at longer wavelength, by using an appropriate kernel.


Product changes

  • A bug fix in the waveCalc step for 14.0 causes that some slices redward of the outofband limits, that were previously non-correctly showing, are now properly masked out.
  • Many improvements to the descriptions and/or units of the header meta keywords.
  • All keywords have now a corresponding 8 character FITS keyword, so that the headers are easier to read with other software.


  • The error layer within Unimap Level 2.5 products is renamed as stdDev, being the standard deviation computed at every sky pixel with respect to the samples that are falling on it. It can be properly assumed as the error map only if associated to the Na´ve map.


  • Interpolated cubes: Cubes produced by the task specInterpolate now have a spaxel size of 3".
  • Interpolated cubes: Are no longer provided for oversampled mapping observations.
  • Interpolated cubes: The way the task specInterpolate handles NaNs as it creates these cubes has changed. This will primarily affect cubes with saturated data. Saturated data are masked out and replaced with NaNs when rebinned cubes are built. Interpolated cubes are then created from the rebinned cubes. NaNs are now filtered out as the interpolation task does its work on the input cubes, and all affected and immediately surrounding spaxels of the output interpolated cube will also be NaN. Hence, at the affected wavelengths, the NaN area will be larger than before...but this is also more correct than before.
  • Standalone browse products: we now provide the new extracted spectra tables, HPSSPEC[R|B] and HPSSPEC (see above), as SBPs.
  • Drizzle cubes: in SPG 13 the drizzle cube fluxes were incorrect. In SPG 14 they are now correct.
  • PacsCubes and PacsRebinnedCubes created by the pipeline (HPS3D [R|B] and HPS3DR [R|B]) will now display in HIPE cube viewers with a flip over the diagonal, as compared to previously (X: to the right, Y: upwards). This change allows the visualization of PACS cubes into the PACS footprint orientation (note the axes display with X: downwards, Y: to the left). The displayed indices correspond to the PACS spaxel indices (see more in Sect. 6.3 of the DAG). The standard HIPE cube visualization can be recovered in two steps, using the flip menu in the cube display control bar: no flip + vertical flip. When exporting the cube data outside HIPE, note that the data will still be organized according to standard cube indices.The new orientation makes it easier to compare the cubes in cube viewers (the Standard Cube Viewer or the Spectrum Explorer) to the display of the PacsSpectralFootprint viewer.



Calibration Products

  • Spectrometer
    • A new calibration product SCalSpecLrCorr has been added, containing correction curves for point-source calibrated LR data.
    • A new calibration product SCalSpecExtCorr has been added, containing polynomial coefficients that are used to generate correction curves for extended source calibrated data.
    • A new calibration product SCalSpecOpdCorr has been added, it is currently neither used in the pipelines nor in user scripts.
  • Photometer
    • Updates to the photometer beams: SCalPhotBeamProf and SCalPhotRadialCorrBeam affecting most colour correction parameters.

Calibration Framework


Engineering Conversion

Common Pipeline

Photometer Pipeline

  • The User Pipelines have been updated with an option to create not just the point source maps but also the absolute calibtated maps in MJy/sr by setting the makeExtendMaps option
  • Access to the Planck maps in both the User pipelines and Useful Scripts is now handled automatically (see the zero point correction script for details on initial set up)
  • The serendipity data (when the telescope slews to a target) is now included all the way to Level 1 in the Observation. Note that the serendipity data is the final building block and is NOT destriped.
  • The SPIRE Level 2.5 data products have been extended to include, not only parallel pairs, but also sets of 2,3,4+ observations that would benefit from merging at the Level 2.5 stage. See the SPIRE Data Reduction Guide for a list of these observations.

Spectrometer Pipeline

  • A new task has been added to the point source pipeline that applies a correction to remove significant artefacts from SLW spectra of LR observations (and the LR part of H+LR observations)
  • A new task has been added to all pipelines that applies the extended calibration correction in order to incorporate the far field feedhorn efficiency for extended source. As a consequence we get better agreement between FTS and Phototmeter for fully extended sources.

Interactive Analysis and Tools

  • There is a new useful script, Spectrometer Pointing Offset Corrector, for estimating and correcting pointing offset in sparse point observations. The scripts assesses the difference between the SLW and SSW spectra of the centre detectors, over the overlapping frequency range, uses this to estimate any pointing offset and corrects the data using SECT.



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