[ ESO ]
NACO pipeline:
general information



SM package
file format


The reduction of NACO data at QC Garching is done in a semi-automatic manner: raw data are selected and inserted into a reduction mechanism which produces

  • calibration products and
  • reduced science data .

This mechanism is the NACO reduction pipeline.

The NACO pipeline is based on the ESO Common Pipeline Library (CPL). It has been used since January 01, 2006. Before that date older version of NACO pipeline, using Data Reduction Software (DRS) was active. It was written in C, based on the (stand-alone) eclipse library. To access publicly available current version of the NACO pipeline, as well as to get more information click here.


NACO pipeline
science reduction
recipes calibration
[recipes calib]
recipe science [recipe science]

Find the description of calibration processing, science reduction and recipes here.



There are two different applications of the NACO reduction pipeline:

  • at the YEPUN telescope on Paranal, running in automatic mode,
  • at HQ Garching run by the Quality Control Team in the optimized mode.

The automatic operational mode is used for quick look purposes and for on-site quality control. It processes all raw data sequentially, i.e. as they arrive from the instrument. It produces calibration products and reduced science data, but will usually not obtain the best possible results. This is due to the sequential operation: post observation day-time calibrations are not available during night-time. NACO settings.

The optimized operational mode becomes possible when all data of a night including the associated day-time and twilight calibrations have been collected. Then the calibration data are sorted and assessed independently of their timestamp. The best possible master calibration data are created. Their quality is checked. They are finally applied to the science data of a night. This is the way all calibration data in supported modes are reduced by QC Garching, as are all science data from Service Mode programmes.


NACO standard settings


The NACO pipeline presently supports imaging mode.

QC Garching processes the following NACO data

  • all calibration data taken in NACO imaging, no matter whether Service or Visitor Mode;
  • all science data taken in NACO supported modes taken in Service Mode.

The quick-look pipeline on Paranal processes all pipeline-supported modes, plus some calibration templates only used by the Paranal Operation team.


The main functionalities of the NACO pipeline are:

  • create master calibration data,
  • reduce science frames,
  • provide QC1 parameters.

QC Garching creates

  • calibration products from raw calibration data, both for Visitor Mode and Service Mode nights. These raw data are stored in the ESO Archive and are public. They are assessed and selected in terms of their quality and used for QC1 checks and trending;
  • reduced science data for Service Mode nights. For SM programmes, QC Garching runs the pipeline on all science raw data taken in NACO SW imaging and spectroscopy, using the best available, quality-checked master calibration data.


SM package

Programmes performed in Service Mode receive a set of CD ROMs (or DVDs) which contains

  • all raw science data,
  • reduced science data,
  • suitable calibration data (both raw and master),
  • listings and logs,
  • QC1 reports.

The following list shows the dates from which on a new eclipse version is used to reduce the data.

  • 2002-10-01, conicap 1.0.0
  • 2003-02-01, eclipse 4.5.1

Raw NACO frames come in the following array formats :

except Mprime
Mprime (from P71 on)
1024 x 1024 px
512 x 512 px




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