Notes by Marshall Perrin as of March 2007.

SINFONI is an adaptive optics integral field spectrograph on the VLT. (Yes, US astronomers can get time on the VLT! It helps to have European collaborators, but anyone at all can apply for time, including graduate students.)

You'll need to download the SINFONI pipeline from ESO. This is actually pretty easy to install. It'll run in command line mode on your linux or mac box using the 'esorex' utility, which comes with it.

The VLT pipeline handles much of the basic data reduction, but they ship you a ridiculous amount of data on DVDs including the full calibration archive. You probably want to ignore most of this and look at the FITS files with product code “SXBJ”, which are the calibrated individual data cubes (dark and sky subtracted and flat fielded, but not telluric corrected).

The SINFONI pipeline will have tried to automatically mosaic these together into SCDJ files, but it probably got the offsets wrong. The pipeline documentation claims that you can use the “sinfo_utl_cube_combine” routine to mosaic together the cubes, and pass in a text file containing the offsets. But the current version (1.6.0) actually COMPLETELY IGNORES that text file (contrary to the docs) and only reads the offsets from the ESO HIERARCH CUMOFFSETX and ESO HIERARCH CUMOFFSETY keywords. Furthermore, for some unexplained reason, it multiplies the CUMOFFSET keywords by two before using them. So for instance if you want to shift a file by 6 pixels in X, edit the header so that it says CUMOFFSETX=3. Yes, this is stupid. But it works.