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PACS instrument and calibration web pages


This page provides up-to-date information about using the PACS instrument: from preparing observations to reducing your data. This page you also provides the latest calibration accuracies and known PACS calibration issues.

Observing with PACS

Reducing PACS data

  • The corresponding PACS Data Reduction Guide (PDRG) is PDRG version 7 (Jun 2011, PDF, also available in the hipe online help. Note that within the PDF version, document links will not work.)
  • The very latest version of the PACS Pipeline Reference manual, which can be used with HIPE track 7 and 8, is provided in PDF format here: PPR version 5 (Jun 2011). This version of the PPR is taken from the latest build of the latest track of HIPE. Note that with PDFs, document links will not work.

  • We also provide access to the latest stable developer build, used by the instrument experts at the ICC. Beware ! These developer builds do not undergo the same in-depth testing as the user releases. The current latest stable developer build is identical to the latest User Release (HIPE 7.0 build 1931).


  • Data reduction scripts are available in HIPE under the menu: Pipeline --> PACS --> Photometer/Spectrometer

PACS calibration file versions

  • When starting hipe, you will be informed if new calibration files are available. Clicking on 'show details' will show you the release note of the new calibration set, with details about the changes. You can choose to update to the latest version of the calibration files.
  • The history calibration files released to the community is provided here: PACS Calibration File History

PACS calibration and performance

Photometer calibration in scan maps.

  • Point Spread Function: PACS Photometer Point Spread function (5.5 M), version 1.01, 3 November 2010. A detailed document of the in-flight observed PSF. The accompanying tarball can be found here (31 Mb).
  • Herschel/PACS modelled point spread functions (3.1 Mb) is a related document presenting Zemax modelled point spread functions for both an `ideal' and an 'as built' Herschel telescope model. Tarballs with corresponding broad-band and monochromatic PSFs for these two cases are at Since the models do not capture all effects found in the observed PSFs, they are useful only in addition to the observed PSFs but cannot replace them.

  • Point-source photometry: PACS uses 5 stars as primary calibrators with fluxes ranging from 0.6 to 15 Jy, plus other fainter stars and asteroids as secondary calibrators. A new responsivity calibration (version) will be deployed on the HCSS 7 track consistent with PICC-ME-TN-033 v1.01 and its associated encircled energy fraction (EEF). It improves the accuracy of photometry to 3% in the blue channel and 5% in the red channel. The new calibration is described in detail in the technical note"PACS photometer point-source flux calibration (3.1 Mb) (PICC-ME-TN-037), version 1.0, 12 April 2011.

  • Point-source observations:

PACS spectrometer calibration

  • PACS Spectrometer performance and calibration: The PACS Spectrometer Calibration Document v2.3 (31-May-2011) provides details on the calibration accuracy and the necessary information to optimally interpret PACS spectroscopy observations. New issues of this document will be released with new versions of the pipeline and new versions of the calibration tree provided in the Herschel interactive data analysis system.

  • Data processing known issues of standard products: Browse quality Level 2 products are provided in the Herschel Science Archive. This summary page describes typical problems and caveats the observer needs to be familiar when looking at these preview products. Aspects of product quality which can be further optimized by interactive processing are also summarized here. The document refers to the version of data processing pipeline currently being used for processing of incoming Herschel data (version number provided therein).

Interest Groups and Scripts


  • Scanamorphos by H. Roussel can be used to build maps from scan observations made with bolometer arrays, in particular with the PACS and SPIRE photometers.
  • Key information of PACS on the NHSC web site.
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
PDFpdf ExtSrcPhotom.pdf r1 manage 3303.5 K 2011-04-12 - 18:26 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf PACSPSF_PICC-ME-TN-029_v2.0.pdf r1 manage 3171.5 K 2010-11-05 - 16:28 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf PDRG_Jun2011.pdf r1 manage 5346.0 K 2011-06-07 - 22:27 KatrinaExter PDRG Jun 2011
PDFpdf PICC-NHSC-TN-029.pdf r1 manage 975.7 K 2011-04-12 - 18:30 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf PPR_Jun2011.pdf r1 manage 4338.0 K 2011-06-07 - 22:33 KatrinaExter PPR Jun 2011
PDFpdf PacsSpectroscopyPerformanceAndCalibration_31May2011.pdf r1 manage 2329.4 K 2011-06-02 - 13:28 JeanMatagne  
PDFpdf PhotMiniScan_ReleaseNote_20101112.pdf r1 manage 1988.8 K 2011-06-06 - 17:05 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf SimulPSP_v1.0.pdf r1 manage 5323.7 K 2010-11-15 - 11:16 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf aa14535-10.pdf r1 manage 1571.0 K 2010-11-04 - 16:23 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf bolopsfv1.01.pdf r1 manage 5658.9 K 2010-11-05 - 16:27 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf cc_report_v1.pdf r1 manage 2578.7 K 2011-04-12 - 18:30 BrunoAltieri  
PDFpdf pacs_bolo_fluxcal_report_v1.pdf r1 manage 3122.3 K 2011-04-12 - 19:40 BrunoAltieri  
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Topic revision: r41 - 2011-06-08 - BartVandenbussche
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