Ott, Stephan

The Herschel Space Observatory, the fourth cornerstone mission in the ESA science program, was launched 14th of May 2009. With a 3.5 m telescope, it is the largest space telescope ever launched. Herschelís three instruments (HIFI, PACS, and SPIRE) perform photometry and spectroscopy in the 55 - 672 micron range and will deliver exciting science for the astronomical community during at least three years of routine observations. Since 2nd of December 2009 Herschel has been performing and processing observations in routine science mode.

The development of the Herschel Data Processing System (HIPE) started eight years ago to support the data analysis for Instrument Level Tests. To fulfil the expectations of the astronomical community, additional resources were made available to implement a freely distributable Data Processing System capable of interactively and automatically reducing Herschel data at different processing levels. The system combines data retrieval, pipeline execution, data quality checking and scientific analysis in one single environment. The Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE) is the user-friendly face of Herschel Data Processing. The software is coded in Java and Jython to be platform independent and to avoid the need for commercial licenses. It is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), permitting everyone to access and to re-use its code.

We will summarise the current capabilities of the Herschel Data Processing system, highlight how the Herschel Data Processing system supported the Herschel observatory to meet the challenges of this large project, give an overview about future development milestones and plans, and how the astronomical community can contribute to HIPE.

The Herschel Data Processing System is a joint development by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS and SPIRE consortium members.

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