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Search Form (Parameters)

Search is one of the top menu items on the portal. Three tabs on the top left of this screen allow you to search for a specific data products.

  • Calibrated: Science exposures produced by the NOAO calibration pipeline (often referred to as AuCaP) or the QuickReduce pipeline.
  • MasterCals: Master Calibrations (bias, dark, and flat-field) images created from the raw calibration frames by AuCaPor the QuickReduce pipeline.
  • Raw: Raw science and calibration frames taken on the instrument.

The Search form corresponding to each tab is typically split into three sections: the left most section lists options and parameters common to all data products; the middle section lists options and parameters appropriate to only the specific data products; and the right most section lists additional search parameters that can be added in by users for advanced searches (more on this in the Advanced Search section below).

Typical Search Options/Parameters 

The list below describes various search options and paramters in the Calibrated Search form.

  • Object Name: Allows you to search by the OBJECT name you chose to input while taking the data.
  • Position Search: Allows RA/DEC based searches.
    • Resolve (drop down box to the right of the coordinate selection): When you click this button a text field will appear where you can enter the name of an astronomical object (e.g., alpha Lyr, NGC 2024). Clicking the Resolve button will use the VizieR service to automatically populate the RA and DEC search fields.  This is a good way to search for frames that contain a certain object, but may not be named in the image OBJECT keyword.
    • Cone/Box Tabs: Two sub-tabs allow you to select the type of positional search. For Cone, the user defines a RA, dec, and radius for the search; for Box, the user defines ranges for RA and dec. Beneath the Cone/Box sub-tabs, you can select the coordinate system (Equatorial, Galactic, or Ecliptic) and epoch (J2000, B1950).
  • Only search exposures that I have access to: Allows you to filter out exposures you do not have access to. All ODI metadata are public, leaving this option unchecked allows you to search for exposures you may not have permissions to download or perform other actions on but want to get an idea of what data products may become available in the future once the PI proprietary time period is over.

  • PI observation proposal/program related parameters
    • Proposal ID (also referred to as PROPID): Auto-complete field allows you to look for data within specific WIYN observation proposal(s).
    • Primary Investigator: Auto-complete field allows you to look for data associated with specific PI(s).
  • Filter, Exposure Time, and Observation Date are self-explanatory fields.
  • Pipeline Version:  Auto-complete field allows you to look for data products produced only by certain pipelines and pipeline versions. This field defaults to operator set version numbers for the various pipelines integrated into PPA.
  • Search Actions
    • Search button: Triggers a search using all your selected options parameter values. The Reset Form button allows you reset the form to its default state.
    • Reset button: Clears all the user-entered search fields.

The MasterCals and Raw search forms are similar to the Calibrated search form except:

  • Position Search options including the Resolve drop-down and the Cone/Box sub-tabs are not applicable to, and therefore not displayed on the MasterCal search form.
  • Stack Count paramter is not applicable to, and therefore not displayedon the Raw search form.

Advanced Search Options/Parameters 

The Other Fields drop-down option on the right most section of each search tab allows you to perform advanced searches by adding additional search options/parameters most of which are based on header keyword values stored in the PPA database.


  1. Any searches performed with these additional parameters can be bookmarked for future reference or repeat searches. 
  2. However, the additional fields are not persistent: reloading the search form using the browser refresh button or opening a new search window will present a default search form with no additional search options you may have used previously.

Search Results

The search results are displayed below the search form.  

  • Mousing-over any search column header causes a a tool-tip containing a description of that keyword to be displayed. 
  • For each exposure displayed: A thumbnail, and typical keywords and their respective value for each exposure are shown; tthe list of columns can be adjusted - see below.
  • For Calibrated data products, theand icons indicate data products  produced by AuCaP and QuickReduce pipelines respectively.
  • For exposures to which you do not have full access, a  icon is displayed indicating you can only view the metadata (header keyword values) for those exposures still under proprietary data access, and that you cannot download or analyze the exposure in Image Explorer.
  • For exposures to which you have full access, a  icon lets you open the exposure on Image Explorer for further visual analysis.

Customizing Search Results

The set of buttons above the search results listing allows you to format and perform actions on the search results.

  • Selected Rows: Allows you to add images to an existing or new collection, or to download them directly.
  • Settings icon : Allows you to format the physical appearance of the output table, including number of entries per page, selection/deselection of thumbnail display, and the spacing of the rows.
  • Columns: Allows you to customize the list of columns shown in the search results, and their ordering from left to right. To include a column, drag the desired keyword from the “Available” section on the bottom to a preferred location (left to right) within the “Displayed” section on the top. There is also an option to revert to the default view.
  • Sorting: Allows you to recursively sort the search results using any of the available keywords.  To sort by a keyword, drag it from the “Available” section on the bottom to a preferred location (left to right) within the “Sorted” section on the top.  You can choose to sort each field in ascending or descending order by clicking on the arrow next to the keyword. 
  • All: Allows you analyze or export as a CSV file, the entire search result set (including ones in preceding or subsequent search results pages).

NOTE: Sorting on a keyword will not automatically include that column in the search results, you will have to add the keyword using the “Columns" option.

Faceted Search (Rapidly Prune Search Results)

A “Faceted Search” or “amazon-style” selection feature is available, located as a vertical bar on the left side of the screen.  To apply a filter to the search output, simply click the appropriate link in the faceted search section. The example shows Obstype, Filter and Exptime facets that you can choose to help narrow your search quickly. NOTE: you can get a larger set of results for the facets by searching on a blank target box to list all available data

Search Results (Actions)

Beyond viewing and analyzing individual exposures, the primary way of downloading or executing Tier 2 workflows on multiple exposures is via Collections. You will need to create one or more collections first via the Collections menu. Then you can select one or more exposures using the individual check-box on each result row or using the select all check-box which selects all exposures displayed on the current page; and then you can add the selected images to a Collection, via the Checked Rows option. Once you have added exposures to a collection, you can analyze the content of that collection or perform further actions via the Collections menu and its sub-menus or by going into an individual collection.

Image Details Page

Clicking on a search result (row) will take you to an Image Details page which lists:

  • A larger thumbnail (compared to the ones shown on the search results).
  • (If applicable) A list of associated – both parent and child – data products. For example, a calibrated science exposure are associated with raw and master calibrations while a stack is associated with a set of calibrated science exposures used to produce it. 
  • The area to the right of the thumbnail displays several tabs (as applicable) including the FITS header (from the main extension), and Quality Assurance plots produced by a pipeline (for example, the QR pipeline)
  • Options including the ability to open Image Explorer to analyze the image further and to add the image to one or more collections.