[ ESO ]
science data

CAL | HC | refs | QC
Trending & QC1
Data Packages
Data Management
QC links:

CRIRES science data can be reduced using the ESO CRIRES pipeline. On Paranal, the quick-look pipeline makes an attempt to automatically reduce all science data. The reduction is performed using standard calibration solutions from a local calibration database which is refreshed every few months. Generally, any pipeline processing on the site is done on a best-effort basis. Its purpose is to offer a quick look to assess data quality etc.

At QC Garching, SCIENCE data are pipeline-reduced using the best available calibration solutions (quality-checked and closest in time, following the calibration cascade). All settings are pipeline supported. The products of science reduction are also quality-checked. If any irregularity in the reduced data is found, an attempt is made to improve on this. If not possible, information about the problem is made available in the data package. The policy is to never suppress data.


CRIRES science data come in one format only: an exposure of a single echelle order with the 4x1 detector mosaic. Science observations can be differentiated whether the observing techniques nodding and jitter are applied.

Nodding: a spectrum is taken at telescope position A. Then, the telescope is moved along the direction of the slit to position B and another spectrum is taken. This is one nodding cycle AB. If further cycles are requested then another exposure is taken at position B before the telescope moves back to A. The complete sequence is ABBA. The next cycle would again start at position A, etc.

Jitter: Jittering is obtained by adding a small random offset in addition to the nodding offset.

Nodding and jittering and be combined. It is also possible to neither nod nor jitter. This makes four different observing techniques. In addition, special techniques using free offsets or a list of position angles are also offered:

DPR CATG DPR TYPE DPR TECH description FITS headers
SCIENCE OBJECT SPECTRUM,NODDING,OTHER nodding, no jittering sci_nod_oth.hdr
SCIENCE OBJECT SPECTRUM,NODDING,JITTER nodding and jittering sci_nod_jit.hdr
SCIENCE OBJECT SPECTRUM,NODDING,JITTER,ASTROMETRY spectro-astrometry technique using different position angles  
SPECTRUM,NODDING generic offsets (user-defined)  


Overview of science recipe

The CRIRES calibration scheme, including SCIENCE data reduction, is shown here.

Recipe. All CRIRES science data are reduced using the pipeline recipe cires_spec_jitter. The recipe offers the following reduction steps: dark subtraction, correction for detector non-linearity, flat-fielding, image combination, spectrum extraction, wavelength calibration.

Dark subtraction. Subtraction of a dark exposure is only needed for the DIRECT observing technique. For NODDING, dark subtraction is automatically performed by subtracting A and B images. Science products in Service Mode packages have been dark-subtracted only in case of DIRECT.

Non-linearity. The CRIRES arrays show deviations from linearity for exposure levels above approximately 4000 ADUs. These deviations vary from pixel to pixel. They are determined by a dedicated set of flat exposures with increasing DIT (detector monitoring calibrations). For each pixel, the function ADU = A + B * DIT + C * DIT^2 is fit and the coefficients are stored in three images and packed into a fits cube. During science reduction, these coefficients are applied in order to correct the raw data.

Flat-fielding. Flat fields are used to correct for the blaze function and for fixed-pattern noise.

Image combination. In case of nodding observations, the individual exposures are combined after dark subtraction (if requested), correction for non-linearity, and flat-fielding have been applied.

Spectrum extraction. Spectra are extracted by a simple sum across the slit and by an optimal extraction technique. Both results are given in the output product.

Wavelength calibration. If a wavelength solution from an arc lamp or gas cell exposure is present then this result is applied for the wavelength calibration of the science data. Otherwise, the wavelength calibration is obtained from sky lines present in the science exposure. The latter is usually the case for settings above 2500 nm.

Products. We presently deliver the following types of SCIENCE products:

  • EXTRACT_WL_TAB: a fits table with the extracted signal (from both average and optimal extraction), the associated errors, and the corresponding wavelengths
  • COMBINED_IMA: combined image of the nodding exposures
  • PROFILE_IMA: The weighting profile applied during optimal extraction
  • CONTRIBUTION_IMA: gives the number of exposures that contributed to each pixel in the COMBINED_IMA
  • BGD_MAP_IMA: map that identifies those pixels that have been used for calculating the background noise
  • WL_MAP_IMA: a 2D image giving the relation between pixels and wavelengths. This is a 2D representation of the result from the wavelength calibration using either an arc lamp, gas cell exposure, or sky lines
  • WL_MAP_MODEL_IMA: same format as WL_MAP_IMA but containing the result from the physical model. The model uses the actual configuration of the instrument and predicts a wavelength for each pixel.

All products are fits files with four extensions. The primary header unit has an empty data section; each extension contains the results for the respective detector array.

All product file names follow a dedicated naming scheme.


CRIRES pipeline problems are documented under on the data package page.