Herschel-HIFI News

Submitted by Sylvie Beaulieu, Herschel-HIFI Instrument Support Scientist
(Cassiopeia – Hivers/Winter 2015)

Herschel Science Archive (HSA)

The latest Herschel Science Archive (v.7.0) was released on 28 October 2015. In this release, you will find links from individual observations to associated refereed publications. This new feature is accessible from the query result page in the HSA User Interface by selecting the “DETAILS & PUBLICATIONS” button, and then clicking on the tab “Publications”. Footprints for photometric observations (PACS & SPIRE) greatly improve the accuracy of geometrical searches. Remember that Herschel data are 100% in the public domain.

University of Waterloo Group News

Since last August, the group has welcomed a new member, Dr Scott Jones, who is a recent PhD graduate from Western University. Scott is helping with HIFI data processing and analysis.

Please note that the Herschel-HIFI Waterloo group will cease operation by the 31st of March 2016. Although no support will be available from that date via the Waterloo group, we will try to maintain the webpage and keep it as up-to-date as possible.

The implementation of the Herschel Explanatory Legacy Library (HELL) is progressing well. A special one-week documentation retreat was held in October to allow a group of eight HIFI editors to concentrate on editing the HIFI Handbook, and several other documents that will join the HELL documentation repository. Permanent links to the ESA Herschel Project and to the Herschel Explanatory Legacy Library will be available through our webpage.

Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE)

While HIPE 13.0 is the current release, and HIFI_CAL_22_0 is the latest Calibration Tree, this autumn saw the last Astronomer Acceptance Testing for HIPE, with HIPE 14.0 due to be released to the community in mid-December 2015. HIFI_CAL_24_0 will also be released. We invite you to visit What’s New in HIPE for the changes in this new release and see below. Additional information can be found in the HIFI Instrument and Calibration page

HIFI Calibration

A new calibration tree has been implemented in HIPE 14.0. It contains substantial changes in the sideband ratio tables, as well as a complete intensity calibration uncertainty component model. The corresponding UncertaintyTable products are available in calibration -> Downlink -> Generic and were updated with the following uncertaintyType: HotLoadTemp, ColdLoadTemp, HotLoadCoupling, ColdLoadCoupling, SidebandRatio, OpticalStandingWavesLoads, OpticalStandingWavesDiplexer.

The new calibration tree also provides tables of spur warning channel flags for point and mapping modes. These flags are assigned based on a knowledgebase built out of the spur flags manually identified for spectral scans and populated in the calibration tree in HIPE 13.0.

The sideband ratio updates will imply changes in intensity at all frequencies in bands 1 to 4. No changes are expected in bands 5 to 7.

The identifyLines task was updated with the following: implementation of threading to speed up the task, improvements of the rejection of false detected lines, changes on the Herschel Spectral Line List columns names, implementation of the image band line identification for pointed and mapping observations, fix to the RMS computation, and the implementation of the exportLines task.

Level 2 Pipeline

For DBS Raster maps, the Level 2 spectra are no longer averaged – this was already the case for OTF maps; Introduction of a new calibration output providing a frequency-dependent intensity calibration uncertainty budget; Assignment of spur warning channel flag for all point and mapping modes.

Level 2.5 Pipeline

Changes to the output of the Deconvolution task: the single-sideband spectrum is now contained in a Spectrum1d called “dataset” (it was called “ssb” up to HIPE 13).

HIFI products

Flags are now applied to OFF spectra as well; Generation of a browse image for the reference spectra, when the option useReferenceSpectra is set to true; The FITS header keywords have been revamped in order to provide proper nicknames to the parameters featured in those headers.

Standing Wave removal

New parameter addMedianContinuum: allow the median continuum to be added back into the baseline fit flux [DEFAULT: False].

Baseline removal

New parameter addMedianContinuum: allow the median continuum to be added back into the baseline fit flux but only performs well for basemode=’sub’ and not basemode=’div’ [DEFAULT: False].


The output deconvolution product ssb is now called dataset (please note that scripts prior to this change will break).

HiClass Export tool

Although this is not an HCSS development, it should be noted that GILDAS/Class now reads the HCSS-generated FITS without needing any prior conversion as it used to be the case using the HiClass task.


With this latest release, you have access to the latest documentation updates for both the HIFI Data Reduction Guide, and the HIFI Pipeline Specification Manual. Specifically, you will find a revamp of the chapter “Flags in HIFI data”, section Quality Flags, and a new chapter called “Understanding the uncertainty table information in your data” has been added to the HIFI Data Reduction Guide.

Conferences, workshops and webinars related to Herschel

The University of Waterloo Herschel-HIFI Support Group is committed to assisting you with accessing data through the Herschel Science Archive (HSA) and in using the Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE) to process your data. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our webpage has a dedicated page on Data Processing.

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