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Pre-imaging Data:
Processing and Distribution

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Processing and Distribution of the Pre-imaging Data

Pre-imaging data are science data taken prior to execution of a regular Service Mode program. Their goal is to allow the PI to prepare details of follow-up observations, e.g. prepare accurate co-ordinates for follow-up spectroscopic observations. These data are time-critical. Therefore a special process has been implemented to rapidly process and distribute these data after they have been acquired. The processing is done by QC Garching in an automated procedure.

Currently, pre-imaging for the following VLT instruments is supported: VIMOS, FORS2, VISIR, ISAAC, SINFONI, and NACO.

Handling of the pre-imaging data includes the following steps:

  • Anytime the science pre-imaging data are obtained at Paranal they are identified by the "PRE" string in the DPR.TECH keyword of the header.
  • The data are immediately transferred from Paranal to the ESO Archive in Garching.
  • Once a day, at 14:00 local Garching time, a cronjob is executed. It finds any new pre-imaging data and retrieves them from the Archive.
  • The pre-imaging data are loaded to a processing system of the QC group. There, they are associated with static calibrations and are processed by the pipeline. Pipeline products are renamed following each instrument renaming scheme: FORS2, VIMOS, NACO, ISAAC, SINFONI and VISIR.
  • The list of static calibrations is maintained by the Quality Control scientist of the respective instrument.
  • Products of successfully processed data, logs, all the raw frames, as well as listings are then retrieved by the ESO Archive and are sent to an ftp site ready to be picked by the PI.
  • A notification is e-mailed to the PI with instructions how to retrieve the data.

Please keep in mind that the data products distributed in the pre-imaging packages are not verified for their quality and are not intended for accurate scientific measurements.