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This Legacy journal article was published in Volume 2, November 1992, and has not been updated since publication. Please use the search facility above to find regularly-updated information about this topic elsewhere on the HEASARC site.

Foreword

N. E. White

HEASARC


This issue of Legacy describes the GRO, ROSAT and BBXRT archives, which are all now open. They promise to be a rich resource, and we can look forward to many interesting results.

The HEASARC has made its first CD-ROM, containing data products from the Einstein (HEAO 2) Solid State Spectrometer and the Focal Plane Crystal Spectrometer. These were distributed at the American Astronomical Society meeting held in Columbus, Ohio in June. Copies are available upon request by contacting us via our Feedback form. This will be the first of many CD-ROM data distributions.

The HEASARC users group met in June and set the priorities for the HEASARC data restoration projects for the following year. These are: 1) to make available the raw Einstein SSS data in FITS format, 2) to produce lightcurves for the brightest sources from the Ariel V and Vela 5B all sky monitor data, 3) put the SAS-2/COS B photon event data in FITS files and 4) convert the 2.56s MPC spectral/timing data to FITS. These projects are well in hand and this issue describes in detail the HEASARC All Sky Monitor database. For the following year the HUG made the following prioritization for restoration: HEAO 1 A2, HEAO 1 A1 and EXOSAT. The users group members are listed at the end of this issue, and they welcome input to establish and change these priorities.

As a precursor to reformatting the EXOSAT data to FITS, the HEASARC has obtained the agreement of the European Space Agency to receive a complete copy of the raw EXOSAT data (the final observation tapes or FOTs), in exchange for reformatting the data to FITS. The transfer of these data has begun, and should be complete by the spring of next year. The HEASARC has also acquired the ESA analysis software for these data. This software is vendor-dependent and will only run on a HP9000 model 800 series computer. We have recently procured one of these machines with a 40 Gbyte rewritable jukebox to store the data. In early 1993 this will be made available for general use by the community, and will be used to reformat the data to FITS.

There are three articles on calibrations: an update to the EXOSAT Transmission Grating Spectrometer and Einstein Imaging Proportional Counter spectral calibrations, plus a description of the ROSAT point spread function. In addition there is an interesting comparison of cross instrument calibrations. The HEASARC has begun the task of defining FITS file standards for X-ray and Gamma-ray data product files. These standards are being designed to allow analysis packages to exchange data, retaining sufficient information for downstream packages to do their job. In this issue the file structures for spectral response and pulse-height-analyzer data are presented. Comments from the community on these proposed formats are welcome.

Editors:	Karen M. Smale
		Nick White


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