- SOFIA Overview
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The Unified SOFIA Proposal and Observation Tool (USPOT) is used for both Phase I proposal preparation and submission, and Phase II Astronomical Observation Request (AOR) preparation and submission. Note that in cycles prior to Cycle 6, users were required to submit their Phase I proposals using the SOFIA Proposal Tool (SPT), and those with accepted proposals had to prepare and submit Phase II material using SSpot.
Since Cycle 6, SOFIA has required users to submit their required information for Phase I via USPOT. Default entries are automatically inserted for fields required in Phase II, and proposers are able edit these during the Phase II stage. Those who wish to do so may use the advanced Observation Planning capabilities of USPOT during Phase I to edit these Phase II details in their initial proposal submission, but this is not required.
The USPOT Manual is designed to guide users through the procedures for submitting SOFIA Observing Proposals, and Astronomical Observation Requests (AORs), and it contains specific instructions for each instrument. For more in-depth information on the functionalities of USPOT, detailed descriptions can be found on the USPOT Users Guide, which is distributed in the USPOT package. The USPOT Manual is meant to be used in conjunction with the Observer's Handbook—which, unlike the USPOT Manual, is specific to each observing cycle. The Observer's Handbook provides the details about each instrument's operating features and capabilities, while this manual provides instructions for how to use USPOT to prepare proposals and AORs.
USPOT is based on Spot-common, a framework that was used to develop the Spitzer Spot and Herschel Spot software, and so has a similar look and feel to these other versions of Spot. Since SOFIA is an airborne observatory and not a satellite, some parameters and concepts found in these other versions of Spot are not applicable.