SOFIA: A flexible source finder for 3D spectral line data

P. Serra, Tobias Westmeier, N. Giese, R.J. Jurek, L. Flöer, Attila Popping, B. Winkel, T. Van Der Hulst, Martin Meyer, B.S. Koribalski, Lister Staveley-Smith, H.M. Courtois

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    116 Citations (Web of Science)


    © 2015 The Authors. We introduce SOFIA, a flexible software application for the detection and parametrization of sources in 3D spectral line data sets. SOFIA combines for the first time in a single piece of software a set of new source-finding and parametrization algorithms developed on the way to future H I surveys with ASKAP (WALLABY, DINGO) and APERTIF. It is designed to enable the general use of these new algorithms by the community on a broad range of data sets. The key advantages of SOFIA are the ability to: search for line emission on multiple scales to detect 3D sources in a complete and reliable way, taking into account noise level variations and the presence of artefacts in a data cube; estimate the reliability of individual detections; look for signal in arbitrarily large data cubes using a catalogue of 3D coordinates as a prior; provide a wide range of source parameters and output products which facilitate further analysis by the user. We highlight the modularity of SOFIA, which makes it a flexible package allowing users to select and apply only the algorithms useful for their data and science questions. This modularity makes it also possible to easily expand SOFIA in order to include additional methods as they become available. The full SOFIA distribution, including a dedicated graphical user interface, is publicly available for download.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1922-1929
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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