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ASCA Guest Observer Facility

Standard Data Processing Status Report

E. Seufert


There have been several major activities for the processing team. The revision 1 reprocessing was started and is about 30% complete. The PV phase data has been released to the public and the public release of AO phase data began on May 3, 1995. The standard data processing capacity has been increased 4 fold, through automation and additional hardware. The data "turn-around" time (i.e. time from when the data is received at GSFC to when it is mailed to the PI) has been reduced to an average of 2 weeks. Future plans include the revision 2 reprocessing and porting the processing system to Solaris.

The standard processing of ASCA data is organized into revisions. A new revision of the processing usually means that significant changes and enhancements have been made to the standard data products and the decision has been made to reprocess all the ASCA mission data using the new software. Within a revision small changes and enhancements are continuously made to the standard processing and individual sequences maybe reprocessed to fix bugs. The initial processing of ASCA data is now referred to as revision 0 (rev0). All AO phase data processed from December 1993 through December 1994 are considered revision 0 data. From October through December 1994 the PV (Post-launch verification phase) data was reprocessed using the revision 1 standard processing. Revision 1 processing of new AO phase data began January 1995. All new observations currently being distributed to Guest Observers are in rev1 format. The rev1 reprocessing of of sequences, originally processed with rev0, began in March 1995 and is expected to be completed by September 1995. A revision 2 processing is expected to be implemented this summer.

PV phase data (in rev1 form) was released to the public archives beginning in November 1994. Additional releases of PV sequences have been done on a monthly basis. By the end of May 1995 the entire 7 month PV phase data set will be available in the public archive. The first AO phase observations were released to the public archive on May 3, 1995, with additional releases being done once a week for sequences as their proprietary periods expire. AO observations from ISAS proposals have a 18 month proprietary period from the date the data was distributed by ISAS to the PI. AO observations from US proposals have a 12 month proprietary period from the date the data was distributed to the PI. At the end of May 1995 almost 400 ASCA sequences were available through the public archive.

A frequently asked question is "How soon after the observation will I get my data?" For the revision 0 processing (data processed between Dec 93 and Dec 94) the average time from observation to mailing of the data tape to the Guest Observer was 11 weeks. It took on average about 6 weeks for the data to be delivered to GSFC from Japan after observation and then an average of about 5 weeks to process and mail a data tapes to the Guest Observer. Currently, GSFC is receiving data from Japan within 2-6 weeks after observation. Due to the reduction in processing and mailing time for data at GSFC as mentioned above, PIs can currently expect to receive their ASCA observations 4 to 8 weeks after observation.

Users can check on the status of their data and get summary information about the ASCA standard data processing by accessing the ASCA Data Facility pages via the HEASARC's ASCA Guest Observer Facility WWW server:


Or directly:

Searches can be conducted by Object name, Guest Observer Name, Sequence Number or Public Release Date. Selecting one of the sequences which result from your search will display observation times, processing date, distribution and projected public release date. Then for more detail the processing log can be displayed. The processing log contains useful information such as the name of the Guest Observers, RA and DEC of the sequence, lists of products produced by the standard processing, the processing configuration used (i.e. the version number of the various processing tools used, such as ftools.3.3.1, calibration files), and a summary of processing warning and error messages. If the answers to your questions can't be found here then please send them to

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