Browsing and Exporting SOT Data

Browsing and Finding SOT Data

The Heliophysics Knowledgebase Event and Data Search Tool

The Heliophysics Events Knowledgebase (HEK) is a database of both solar events and solar observations, and enables the user to search and find events and features of interest and the associated observations from Hinode and IRIS. The primary reference for the HEK is Hurlburt et al. (2012).

SOT-FG search tab

To find SOT data, the search interface is best used as follows. First take note of the search panel on the left-hand side, which is used to define the search interval and the parameters of the search. The green tabs enable the user to either key off of events and features of interest that have been identified in solar data, data from IRIS, or data from SOT-FG, SOT-SP, or EIS on Hinode.

The "SOT" tab, shown at right, allows the user to filter the search based on various SOT-FG parameters, including which wavelengths are required, the cadence of the images, and the center of the field of view. These fields are all optional, however; fields that are left blank are not used to filter the search. The "Desc." (description) field in the search panel can be used to search for particular features of interest. Including a specific word (e.g., "plage" or "sunspot" or "HOP") in this field will only return entries that contain this field somewhere in the event description.

At the bottom of this panel are checkboxes for indicating whether data from other instruments (IRIS, or SOT-SP, XRT, and EIS on Hinode) with correlated fields of view are required or optional in the search. This functionality allows users to search for overlapping SOT and IRIS datasets, for example.

SOT-SP search tab

Similarly, the "SOTSP" tab, shown at right, allows users to search for scans from SOT-SP. Here the user is presented with a different set of fields corresponding to the parameters of a SOT-SP scan. At the bottom of this panel are checkboxes for indicating whether data from other instruments (IRIS, or SOT-FG, XRT, and EIS on Hinode) with fields of view that overlap the SOT-SP scan area are required or optional.

After performing a search, the results will be displayed in the right-hand panel, and the fields of view of the observations will be drawn in the central image. Clicking on one of the items in the search results will show at the bottom of the webpage some additional details about the sets of data that were found. These details are linked to a summary webpage for each observations from which sample images or movies can be viewed.

Browsing Levels 1 and 2 Data from SOT-SP

The regions scanned by SOT-SP are assembled into maps by the higher-level pipeline (as discussed in more detail in this section). Summaries of these observations, on a month-by-month basis, are available in tabular format either on this webpage (for SOT-SP Level 1 data) or on this webpage (for SOT-SP Level 2 data). Browsing these data can sometimes be more efficient than performing a HEK search as described above, as the thumbnail images enable the user to immediately see whether the scan focuses on an active region, plage, or quiet sun (for example).

Exporting SOT Data

Once the date interval of the desired SOT data is known, there are two basic ways to export SOT data. The first method is to download data files from one of the partner data centers. The table below links to the various data centers and lists data are served. Alternatively, users can export data from within a SSWIDL session, as shown in this section.

Data Provider (and link to search interface)Current Levels Served
DARTS (Sagamihara, Japan)Level 0 only
LMSAL (Palo Alto, CA, USA)all levels
CSAC at HAO (Boulder, CO, USA)SOT-SP Levels 1 and 2
Virtual Solar ObservatoryLevel 0 only
Solar Data Analysis Center (Greenbelt, MD, USA)all levels, except SOT-FG Level 1
Hinode Science Data Centre Europe (Oslo, Norway)Level 0 only

At present, the SOT team is in the process of mirroring the higher-level data products to the data centers listed above. The aim is to enable the user to skip the calibration step (generating Level 1 from Level 0 requires running either or in IDL), in response to the current efforts throughout the heliophysics community to move away from proprietary software suites (e.g., IDL), as well as to align the data management scheme for SOT-FG with those implemented by more recent missions (e.g., IRIS) where serving Level 1 data to the scientific community is the norm. The option to download the Level 0 data will remain available to users who prefer to perform their own calibrations; both Level 0 and higher levels will be archived.