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ASCA-specific release note for HEAsoft v5.0/v5.0.1

HEAsoft 5.0.1 RELEASED

We are pleased to announce the release of HEASOFT v5.0.1 (HEAsoft v5.0,
combining FTOOLS, fv, XANADU and XTAR packages, was originally released
on February 25, 2000).  In this message, we summarize:

	1. How to obtain HEAsoft v5.0.1
	2. Impact on ASCA users
		2a. New/updated tasks in v5.0
		2b. New/updated tasks in v5.0.1
	3. Known bugs/deficiencies of HEAsoft v5.0.1

1. How to obtain HEAsoft v5.0.1
   HEAsoft v5.0.1 has been released, and can be obtained from:


This is where the most up to date HEAsoft information is available,
including notices of the releases, HTML documentation, and the continually
updated FAQ.  Users should always check here first for answers to questions.

Any problems installing FTOOLS should be reported to:


Any problems using FTOOLS for ASCA data analysis should be reported
to the ftoolsheelp address above or to:


If the problem relates to the scientific contents of the FTOOLS,
the latter address is more appropriate.  Similarly, some questions
on the installation and usage of XANADU software should be addressed to


2. Impact on ASCA users

                2a. New/updated tasks in v5.0

* extractor

Changed WMAP output from integer to real.

Added ability to use multiple event files with different WCS keywords. The
output uses the WCS keywords of the first file and events from later files
are remapped by using FITSIO routines to transform pixels to sky coordinates
and then back again.

Added support for PIE regions.

Increased the maximum number of GTIs allowed.

Changed the temporary files from formatted to unformatted to save space.

The OPTIC keywords are now modified for the effects of any binning or
extraction of a sub-image.

Added wtmapfix parameter to determine whether WMAP pixels outside the
selected region should be set to -1.

Added CXC data model keywords to output GTI extensions.

If there is no GTI extension in an event file then extractor now uses
TSTART and TSTOP to define a single good time interval.

Bug fixes :
  Rotation on BOX regions was being ignored ! Fixed this.
  Fixed bug that caused regions not to work correctly when XYCENTER/XYSIZE
    were set.
  Added check for TIMEZERO in events extension and added its value to
    event times.
  Fixed bug that caused regions with negative declinations to be handled
  Fixed incorrect value of PIXSIZE in output WMAP.

* make_ascaray_images

This new task creates a set of ray-tracing images by running
"ascaray" sequentially.  The output can be used by ascaarf,
which will be useful for extended source analysis.

* ascaarf

Added the option to take as input the results of ray-tracing a
source distribution (see above).

* mathpha

Added a new option errmeth='poiss-0' which causes no STAT_ERR column
to be written and the POISSERR keyword in the output file to be set
to 'T'.

* mkgisbgd

This new task creates "pure" GIS blank sky images and spectra
eliminating point sources

* corpileup
For SIS observation affected by the event pile-up, this new task
estimates the amount of pile-up, and create new spectra in which
pile-up effects are corrected as much as possible.

                2b. New/updated tasks in v5.0.1


New new library contains 2 fixes: will no longer allow compressed FITS
files to be opened with write access and, modified configure file supports
the egcs g77 compiler.  

* timeconv, ascalin, and fasttime

These 3 ASCA tasks need to be rebuilt with the new CFITSIO library so
that they cannot mistakenly try to operate on compressed FITS files.
No other tasks in HEAsoft 5.0 need to be rebuilt with the new CFITSIO
library but it will do no harm if they are.

* mkgisbgd

New version supports 128 channel GIS3 data.

* ghkdump

New version supports current format of GIS HK files.

* addarf

New version fixes the bug which looks for NAXIS2 in the primary array
instead of the binary table, increases maximum length of a filename to
255 chars, and increases the maximum number of files to 2500.

* xselect and extractor

New version fixes problem with annulus region files containing negative
coordinate values.  Extractor also no longer writes illegal BLANK = -1
keyword in the primary header.


New version includes bug fixes and minor improvements.  A complete list
of changes is available at:


The following bugs in XSPEC v11.0 are fixed in 11.0.1.

    11.0a     Xspec will SEGV and dump core if parameter linking
              expressions are entered in Reverse Polish Notation
              rather than Algebraic Notation.
    11.0b     The Xanadu/HEAsoft help system may cause a SEGV if
              help is entered twice during a session.
    11.0c     The fakeit command ignores auxiliary response files.
    11.0d     The fakeit command does not process correctly
              within a tcl script. See the updated documentation
              referred to in 11.0e for further information.
    11.0e     Methods for using xspec interactive commands such
              as model, fakeit, & newpar inside tcl procedures
              are not documented.
    11.0f     XSPEC will SEGV if an attempt is made to invoke a
              script using the "@" syntax within another script
              invoked with the "@" syntax
    11.0h     If a negative multiplicative factor is used to
              link parameters, e.g.
              XSPEC> newpar 2 = 3 * -2.5
              Then if the model is saved, the save file will
              read the factor back as an offset, not a
              multiplicative factor.
              N.B. Parameters with negative factors may be read
              back from the save file as "frozen." One may
              workaround this by thawing the parameter after
              restoring the model.
    11.0i     Invalid filename entered for table model causes
    11.0j     XSPEC does not recognize correct OGIP / 1992a
              files (as indicated by the PHAVERSN keyword) if
              the file is lacking the HDUCLASS keyword
    11.0k     There are updated data files available for the
              APEC model package (APEC v1.0).
    11.0l     Spurious scaling factors are generated when
              reading models back from "save" files.
    11.0m     XSPEC will SEGV if the character "@" is typed in
              on a line by itself.
    11.0n     XSPEC goes into infinite loop if an incorrect
              plotting device is entered.
    11.0o     The URL on the PGPLOT "splash" screen for the bugs
              page is out of date.
    11.0p     The entry prompt for response files in fakeit
              ignores files given by absolute paths.
    11.0q     tclout error sets $xspec_tclout to the lower limit and
              the best fit, not to the lower and upper limits.

3. Known bugs and deficiencies of HEAsoft v5.0.1

* ascaarf

We have recently found a bug in the convolution routine used in the
release versions (inc. HEAsoft v5.0.1) of ascaarf.  Ascaarf expands
the GIS WMAPs to facilitate the PSF convolution using FFT.  Usually,
the expanded WMAP is square (e.g. 64x64), but in some cases it is not
(e.g., 64x128) in which case the convolution routine gives a normalization
which is too small by a factor of 2, and the source flux measured with
such an ARF is too large by a factor of 2.

Users can check if this is the case by looking at the screen output
or the HISTORY keywords in the FITS header of the ARF files:

HISTORY    Input WMAP array has size   44 by   43 bins
HISTORY                  expanded to  128 by   64 bins

If the two numbers on the 'expanded to' line differ, then this bug is
affecting your results.