The deadline for Phase II proposal submission is 11:59 pm PST, December 5th, 2014.

SOFIA Spot (SSpot) must be used for preparing and submitting Phase II observing proposals for all instruments except the FLITECAM/HIPO configuration. However, SSpot may be used for the latter, if desired.

In order to submit proposals, it is necessary to have a SOFIA Data Cycle System (DCS) account. This may be obtained following the "Register with DCS" link on the DCS page. If you already have a DCS account, you do not need to register again. Principal Investigator (PI) accounts will be associated with the Observing Plans for their approved proposals. This association is not immediate, but accomplished via a script, which is run once or twice a day.

The basic steps for Phase II are:

1) Download SSpot.
2) Run SSpot, login to DCS and search for your Observing Plan.
3) Let SSpot automatically create AORs for each observation.
4) Make any needed modifications of the AORs using SSpot.
5) Save the AORs and upload them to DCS.

SOFIA Spot - Observation Planning Tool

Download SSpot

SSpot Pocket Guide

SSpot User Guide

The Pocket Guide and User Guide are also included in the SSpot download package..

The instrument specific instructions, contained in the web pages linked below, assume that the user has downloaded SSpot and has read the SSpot User Guide. In particular, successful Cycle 3 Guest Investigators (GIs) should have followed the instructions in section 6.3 of the SSpot User Guide and created Astronomical Observation Requests (AORs) from their existing, approved Observing Plans.

Observer's Handbook

The SOFIA Observer's Handbook for Cycle 3 (Current Version: 3.3.3 -- Updated 2014, October 23) provides details about the observatory and instrument capabilities.

Instrument Specific Instructions

Preparing EXES Observations

Preparing FIFI-LS Observations

Preparing FLITECAM Observations

Preparing FORCAST Observations

Preparing GREAT Observations

HIPO and FLITECAM/HIPO Observations

The Phase II observing proposals for HIPO and FLITECAM/HIPO programs should be prepared and submitted in collaboration with Edward Dunham (, the Instrument PI for HIPO. Questions may also be addressed to the USRA HIPO Instrument support scientist, Jeff van Cleve ( or USRA FLITECAM Instrument Scientist, Maureen Savage ( Although not required, SSpot may be used to generate and upload AORs.

Please direct any questions you may have about Cycle 3, Phase II to the SOFIA help-desk.