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GSFC XMM-Newton GOF Status Report #063: XMM-NEWTON NEWS #28
_/ XMM-NEWTON NEWS #28 --- 17-Jan-2003 _/
ESA, XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
Villafranca del Castillo, Satellite Tracking Station
P.O. Box - Apdo. 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
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- Version 5.4.1 of the Science Analysis System released
- Resumption of Product Distribution following the RGS/MOS
- Status of AO-2 and Plannings for AO-3
- XMM-Newton Technical Description Web Pages
Version 5.4.1 of the Science Analysis System released
This release contains updated CTI algorithms for the EPIC instruments
(pre and post cooling), effective area and response generation support
for Timing and Burst mode (EPIC), and a few new tasks.
Improved MOS CTI algorithms have been implemented. These affect both
the pre- and post-cooling observations. See also
The effective area file (ARF) generator, arfgen, now supports Timing
and Burst modes for all the EPIC cameras. A possibility of entering the
source position in Telescope coords (sourcecoords="TEL") has been added.
The code now checks the FLAG setting in the spectrum data sub-space to
decide whether to apply corrections for pixels which lie next to
chip gaps and bad pixels. This also affects the task "backscale".
A bug in the energy interpolation of the PSF, affecting pn spectra
extracted from annuli, has been solved. See
The redistribution matrix generator, rmfgen, now supports Timing and
Burst mode data from all EPIC cameras. The redistribution functions
(RMFs) for the MOS cameras have been made epoch dependent to describe
the changing detector resolution with satellite revolution
number. This has been implemented via the current calibration file
(CCF) and it is now important to generate the correct calibration
index file (CIF) for the date of an observation. See cifbuild
documentation for how to do this. This can also be done at
This mechanism enables rmfgen to generate pre- and post-cooling RMFs
for the MOS cameras. Further details of these changes are provided in
XMM-SOC-CAL-SRN-0135. The EPIC-pn RMFs for the imaging modes have been
tweaked slightly in response to improvements in the understanding of
the instrumentation. The task has been made compliant with the latest
OGIP definition of the HDUVERS keywords.
A simple interface for creating an EPIC source spectrum, background
spectrum and related detector matrices in one pass, via the task
especget, has been integrated into xmmselect. Details may be found in
the especget, eregionanalyse and xmmselect (section 126.96.36.199) user
guides. Event attributes (sashelp --doc=evatt) can now be operated
on from xmmselect, via the preferences menu.
The OM source detection task, omdetect, can now more reliably identify
sources in and around scattered light features. It can also identify
extended sources that are just scattered light features, thereby
reducing the number of spurious detections. General algorithmic
improvements make the discrimination between point and extended
sources, and the associated parameters, more reliable.
The new interactive task for OM source analysis, omsource, allows the
user to either create or modify an existing source-list file by
selecting sources on a displayed image. Interactive photometry can be
done on the selected sources.
The source-list file is compatible for use as an input file to the SAS
task omsrclistcomb. omsource can be used on images/source-list files
processed prior to SAS 5.4.
This is a new task that allows one to exposure correct light curves.
This is a new task that converts an XMM-Newton FITS source list to
a format compatible with gaia or ds9.
This is a new task that allows the creation of images for moving
targets, like comets and planets.
* dataset browser
The dataset browser, available from the SAS graphical user interface
or when selecting datasets from one of the parameter dialogs, has been
modified to make the selection more obvious.
sashelp, the task that displays the SAS HTML documentation, can now be
directed to use any web browser via the environment variable
* Completion of parameter names on the command line
This version of the SAS brings command line completion of parameter
names to users whose shell is tcsh or bash (at least version
2.05). Just source the file $SAS_DIR/completion.tcsh or
$SAS_DIR/completion.bash. Then hit the TAB key after the name of any
of the SAS tasks to display the list of possible completions.
Resumption of Product Distribution following the RGS/MOS cooling
With the successful completion of the RGS/MOS cooling exercise, and the
derivation of up to 90 new CCF constituents to support the post-cooling
observations and improve on the pre-cooling ones, pipeline processing
was applied nominally to post-cooling XMM-Newton Data from
19-Dec-2002, and following full validation of the resulting products,
normal product distribution was resumed on 16-Jan-2003.
Status of AO-2 and Plannings for AO-3
The first target of AO-2, 4U 1746-371, was successfully observed
in revolution 509 (2002-09-19).
At present 14.4% of the allocated AO-2 targets with A or B
priority have been observed. This corresponds to 18.1% of the
allocated observing time in these category classes. Based on the
achieved efficiency, we expect that the AO-2 program will finish
mid to end of November 2003.
The next call for proposals, AO-3, is planned to be issued on
the 17th of March 2003 with deadline on 30th of April.
We anticipate for AO-3 a two phase proposal submission process:
In response to the call, principal investigators (PIs) will
be asked to provide the scientific justification and some major
source and observing parameters, like coordinates, observation
duration and observing mode of the prime instrument; this will
be done using the well known HEASARC developed RPS.
During the second phase of the proposal submission, only successful
PIs will be asked to provide the exposure parameters in full detail.
XMM-Newton Technical Description Web Pages
The SOC has completed work on some new web pages:
`XMM-Newton: A Technical Description'.
The rationale for these pages is to describe the XMM-Newton
spacecraft, its mirrors and the scientific payload in a
rather technical way which we hope is not only of interest
to astronomers analysing XMM-Newton data but also to
colleagues interested in the technical aspects of this mission.
The pages are accessible via the `Links about XMM-Newton'
portal page which is available at the following URL:
XMM-NEWS mailing list
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