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.

The HEASARC Facility

Karen M. Smale


The Facility

The HEASARC is part of Goddard's Office for Guest Investigator Programs. It houses data from many high energy astrophysics missions, including the Einstein Observatory, EXOSAT and HEAO-1. In the future, the HEASARC will house data from missions such as ROSAT, BBXRT, XTE and Astro-D. In addition to these datasets, catalogs and documents are available via the HEASARC On-line Service.

The HEASARC supports the analysis of archival data for local visitors and remote users. It provides:

  • Access to archival data via the HEASARC On-line Service Mission-independant data analysis tools
  • Expertise in analysis techniques and calibrations
  • Documentation

The following software packages are available:

  • interfaces to IDL

A Sun workstation and access to a VAX/VMS system is available for each visitor. A preprint library, reading room (containing recent copies of many popular journals), and bound sets of Ap.J. and A&A are available in the same building as the HEASARC. Fax machines, photocopiers and laser printers are available for HEASARC visitors' use.

A building near the HEASARC contains the extensive Goddard Library and a full-service cafeteria. Library hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Books may only be checked out by Goddard employees but free photocopying is available to any user. The cafeteria offers a large selection of hot and cold food and is open 7:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Snack and cold drink vending machines are available in the same building as the HEASARC. Coffee and tea can also be purchased from the employee club.

The Staff

The HEASARC is supported by several duty scientists, Lorella Angelini, Paul Barrett, Steve Drake, Ian George, Jim Lochner and Bill Pence. Their resumes are included in a section at the back of this journal. There are also three support staff programmer/analysts, Karen Smale, Kathy Rhode and Brendan Perry. Two support scientists are on duty Monday through Friday between 9 am and 6 pm. HEASARC visitors are free to work outside these hours; support scientists will be on call during those times. A maximum of four guest observers are supported at any given time.

The HEASARC shares a building with Goddard's Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics allowing interaction with many other scientists for scientific and data-related discussions.

Booking the Facility

Use of the HEASARC must be prebooked. This will allow a badge to be ready at the main gate and also will prevent the system from becoming overbooked. Booking the HEASARC is done by contacting Karen Smale by one of the following methods:

Telephone: 	(301) 286-7612
Fax:		(301) 286-9240
Visitors should allow enough advance notice of their visit for the support staff to obtain a badge. For US citizens and Green Card holders, this is a few days. Non-citizens should allow 2 weeks notice and include a visa and passport number with the booking request to the above e-mail address. Information about local hotels and how to get to GSFC can be obtained when booking the facility.

Visitors to GSFC are welcome to use the HEASARC facilities on a first-come first-served basis, with those who have prebooked having priority.


A remote helpdesk will provide help with software distribution and installation, advice on data analysis problems and bug reports. This help desk is accessed via e-mail using the address via the telephone number used for booking the system.

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