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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #056: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #23

_/                                                                          _/
_/                 XMM-NEWTON NEWS #23   ---    07-Jun-2002                 _/
_/                                                                          _/

                ESA, XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
            Villafranca del Castillo, Satellite Tracking Station
                P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain


SOC Home Page:           
Helpdesk web interface:  
Helpdesk email address:
News Mailing List:

          - XMM-Newton AO-2 status
          - Public Data info page to be discontinued 
          - Update of the "Quarterly Status Page"
          - PIs should check the proprietary period
          - SAS 5.3.3 released
          - EPIC-pn canned response matrices for LARGE WINDOW, 
            TIMING & BURST mode
          - SAS Workshop presentations and data analysis threads
	  - Research Fellowship at the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre
XMM-Newton AO-2 status

As reported in XMM-News #22, the Observing Time Allocation Committee (OTAC) 
for AO-2 consists of 49 scientists organized in 15 panels. The proposals of 
all scientific categories will be discussed in two or three panels (except 
category D, where the number of proposals is small enough for a single panel).

All these panel meetings will take place between June 7th and 25th. 
The results of panels belonging to the same scientific category will be merged
afterwards in order to avoid duplications within AO-2.

The final scientific recommendation of the OTAC will be formulated during the 
meeting of the chairpersons taking place 2nd and 3rd of July at the XMM-Newton 
Science Operations Centre. The recommendation will specify a priority level 
for every proposed observation.

Based on this OTAC recommendation, the observing program for AO-2 will be 
defined by the XMM-Newton Project Scientist. The accepted target list will 
be made public on a dedicated Web page. In addition, every PI will be 
informed by e-mail about OTAC's decision. 

It is expected to finish the whole process, of proposal evaluation and 
programme selection for AO-2, well before end-July 2002.

Public Data info page to be discontinued

The maintenance of the web page giving a summary of the XMM-Newton public 
data sets (see XMM-News #19) available at:


has been discontinued as of 31st May 2002.

This is due to the fact that all the referred data sets are now available 
through the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA):


Update of the "Quarterly Status Page"

As announced in XMM-News #22, SOC is maintaining a Web page summarizing 
the XMM-Newton Status:


Here you find info on the
  * Observing time implementation status 
  * Operational efficiency indicators
  * Data Processing and Distribution status
  * Publications based on XMM-Newton data

This page has recently been updated and covers a wider range of XMM-Newton

PIs should check the proprietary period

Principal Investigators of guaranteed and AO-1 open time XMM-Newton proposals 
are kindly reminded to check the proprietary period expiry date of their data 
sets. This is the date when your data will become public and accessible for 
every registered user of the XMM-Newton Science Archive.

We remind you that under normal conditions the expiry date is one year after 
the corresponding CD-ROM with the ODF and pipeline products has been shipped 
to you.

In case you think you spotted an error in the expiry date, please, let us 
know immediately via an e-mail to the xmmpi@xmm.vilspa.esa.es account 
specifying the proposal ID in the subject of your mail.

SAS 5.3.3 released

Version 5.3.3 of the Science Analysis System has been released.


* General

The main objective of this release is to make it possible to analyze
OM fast mode data. Further, in response to input from the community
we're taking this opportunity to rapidly mend a few problems that have
surfaced since the previous public release. Finally, in response to
the comments received during the SAS workshop (see below), we are
able to introduce a new task to extract spectra and generate

  o OM fast mode is now fully supported

    The tasks omlcbuild and omfchain are now available. With these it
    is possible to analyze OM fast mode data.

  o New task to extract spectra and generate responses

    The task especget is now available. Given two regions for the
    source and the background, and an event list (MOS or pn) this task
    extracts the spectra and calculates the corresponding rmf and
    arf. It can make use of an existing rmf to speed up the

  o Calibration Access Layer

    The CAL library has now knowledge of the few CCF constituents that
    cannot be used with the current SAS release. When a task accesses
    one of these invalid CCF constituents a warning is issued. The
    warning's label is 'ExpiredCcfConstituent'.

  o ODF Access Layer

    If a task is run on an ODF without first running odfingest, the
    error message 'InvalidSummaryFile' is issued instead of a less
    clear message about missing exposures.

    In some circumstances scheduled and unscheduled exposures would not
    be identified correctly. This is no longer the case.

* Problems that have been solved since version 5.3.0

  o emproc (epicproc): it now processes the external chips for
    exposures taken in timing mode.

  o emproc and epproc (epicproc): they now process all imaging and timing 
    modes by default. They also run the task hkgtigen correctly.

  o xmmselect: a problem in the error library that would have caused
    unexplained crashes has been solved.

  o cal: fix a problem with atan2(0,0) that would cause a problem on

  o emframes: under some circumstances it could generated negative time

  o rgsspectrum: it no longer writes NaN in the extracted spectrum, as
    this causes a problem on Compaq/Tru64.

  o perl tasks: with some perl installations a number of perl tasks
    would not work properly, complaining that 'symbol main' could not
    be found. This is no longer the case.

  o sashelp: it supports mozilla as well as netscape.

  o atthkgen: it now calculates the median attitude correctly.

EPIC-pn canned response matrices for LARGE WINDOW, TIMING & BURST mode

In SAS 5.3.0 and 5.3.3 the response matrix generation task rmfgen supports all 
EPIC-pn readout modes except LARGE WINDOW, TIMING & BURST and so ready-made 
matrices should be used for these modes.

Such canned response matrices have now been made public on our web site at:


SAS Workshop presentations and data analysis threads 

The first SAS workshop took place between May 8th and 10th at the XMM-Newton 
Science Operations Centre. We are encouraged in further pursuing this 
experience by the very positive reactions and comments by the participants.

The presentations have now been made public at:


The analysis "threads" used during the workshop hands-on sessions are
linked on the SAS documentation page at:


Research Fellowship at the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre

The European Space Agency offers Astronomers and Space scientists the 
possibility of Post-doctoral Research Fellowships. 
Details of the program can be found at: 


Within this program a second ESA Internal Research Fellowship will be available 
at the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre (in Villafranca near Madrid).
The interviews are tentatively planned for September 2002. It is expected that 
the successful candidate carries out research projects based on XMM-Newton data.

Applicants for this post should have a PhD in astrophysics or equivalent 
qualification in a relevant discipline. Experience in medium to high 
resolution X-ray spectroscopy and/or Active Galactic Nuclei is desirable.

[contact N. Schartel (nscharte@xmm.vilspa.esa.es), XMM-Newton SOC, Villafranca]

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC
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