General questions, bug reports etc concerning this task should be e-mailed to

Task Author: Lorraine Breedon

Current Version

The current version can be downloaded from Note:
  1. You'll need to change the first line of the script from
    to point to your local perl installation (type % which perl at the unix prompt to find your local perl installation)
  2. You'll need to have the PERL libnet module which includes the NET::FTP perl modules already installed.


A script to manage a local CALDB containing EXACT copies of HEASARC-supported missions. This script prompts the user for the full path to their local Caldb. Then using this path as the cwd it downloads *.tar.Z files for requested mission/instruments via anonymous ftp from the HEASARC Caldb.

As input, no parameters are required. However an optional input parameter (dspace_check) will force the script to perform disk space checks prior to uncompression and untarring of each file. If omitted no checks performed!

For each tar file the script then:

  • Uncompresses and untars the file
  • Creates the appropriate directory structures
  • Populates the directory tree with files
  • Moves the /data/tarredcif file to data/{mission}/{instrument}/caldb.indx (thus replacing the local caldb.indx with the new HEASARC copy).

Each compressed tar file for a given mission/instrument contains :

  • ./data/{mission}/{instrument}/../../calfilenames
  • ./data/tarredcif (the caldb.indx file for the {mission}/{instrument}).
  • ** ./data/{missn}/{instr}/goodfiles_{missn}_{instr}_special.ASCII (list of all good quality cal files within the caldb.indx together with last-modification-date info ....this ASCII file is necessary to perform any future up-dates to the local caldb.indx of a HEASARC-supported mission but with personal/locally produced datasets added).
  • ** ./data/input.ASCII (contains 4 lines..{mission};{instrment}, {instrument alias}; name of special ASCII file).

The above ** files are used ONLY when the local manager is up-dating/ maintaining HEASARC-supported missions which have been CUSTOMISED to also contain personal/locally produced datasets. i.e. they are thus NOT used in this script.

Page author:
Michael F. Corcoran
Last updated: Wednesday, 20-Oct-2021 10:38:23 EDT.