[ ESO ] FORS2 Data Management:
general information

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general FORS2


Users can access their raw data through the ESO User Portal. The 'calSelector' service provides associated calibration data.

ESO provides for some instruments fully reduced science-grade spectral data products for the entire history of the respective instrument.

Find the current list of these data products here.

Historical note: until the end of P87 (September 2011), ESO used to deliver PI data packages. With the begin of October 2011, this service was terminated.

 File naming schemes

Throughout the data flow system, files are named following certain conventions. The following naming schemes are relevant for files in the data packages:
  • archive file name (FITS keyword: ARCFILE): this is the unique name of a raw file which consists of the parent instrument name and the timestamp of its generation. Raw FITS files produced at ESO always have extension '.fits'.
  • original file name (FITS keyword: ORIGFILE): this is the name of a raw file generated on the mountain on the instrument workstation. It consist of:
    - the name of the parent instrument,
    - the category (e.g. BIAS, FLAT, OBS, ... ),
    - the day sequence number within the year,
    - and a sequence number counted within the night.

    Original file names are not unique (they will usually repeat after a year, sometimes even after a day).
  • data product file name (FITS keyword: PIPEFILE): this is the name of any pipeline product. It is composed of:
    • the prefix 'r.',
    • the ARCFILE of the parent raw file stripped off by the extension,
    • and a sequence number '_0000' etc. (since there may be multiple pipeline products per raw file).

    Product files have the extension '.fits'. In some cases, ESO product files also may have the extension 'tfits' where 't' stands for 'table'. These are ordinary FITS files just like the ones with extension 'fits'.

    In case that more than one raw file has been used to generate the product, the ARCFILE of the first one is used.

  • calibration product name: this is a name of calibration data products which has been chosen to have explicit information about the type of file, the date of creation, its version and the instrument parameters in the file name. It is generated after the pipeline product has been created. The FITS keyword PIPEFILE is preserved and can be used to map the two naming conventions.
  • science product names: science products are renamed to a scheme which allows the user to recognize from the file name the parent OB, the product type and setting parameters.



The processing sequence for FORS2 data and the association between calibration and science data can be found here. Usually data packages should contain raw and processed science and calibration data (if the mode is supported by the pipeline). Sometimes, however, the automatic pipeline fails. In this case information should be available in the GEN_INFO directory.


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