SOFIA Next Generation Instrumentation (ROSES 2018)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This program element requests proposals for scientific investigations that would develop and use scientific instrumentation capable of achieving the goals of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The intent is to select and execute development of one or more new SOFIA science instruments and/or upgrades to existing instruments.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) consists of a German‐ built 2.7‐meter (2.5-meter useable aperture) telescope with a suite of imaging, polarimetry and spectroscopy instruments, mounted in a Boeing 747‐SP aircraft supplied and modified by NASA. Operations costs and observing time are shared by the United States (80%) and Germany (20%). Flying at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, SOFIA observes from above more than 99 percent of Earth’s atmospheric water vapor, thereby opening up wavelengths for astrophysical observations not available from the ground.

SOFIA is a near‐space observatory that returns to base after every flight. Therefore, unlike most space missions, its scientific instruments can be exchanged periodically to accommodate changing science requirements and to incorporate new technologies, which is a tremendous advantage over space-based observatories. A key part of the SOFIA project has always been to include an instrumentation program that would periodically introduce new technologies in order to enable new scientific frontiers to be explored. NASA is soliciting proposals for compelling science investigations that are enabled by the development of one or more new Science Instruments (SI) and/or upgrades to existing science instruments


  • Notice of Intent: June 1, 2018
  • Proposals: Aug. 1, 2018




Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

August 1, 2018