Recent Happenings at the
US ROSAT Data Archive
This Legacy journal article was published in Volume 7, June 1998, 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 US ROSAT Data Archive currently contains over 8000 public ROSAT datasets (roughly 60% of the available datasets from the PSPC and 40% from the HRI). The total data volume is about 21 Gbytes for the PSPC (compressed) and 15 Gbytes (compressed) for the HRI. Nearly 97% of the available datasets are REV2 data in Rationalized Data Format (RDF); the remainder of the REV0 and REV1 datasets are being replaced with REV2 re-processed data as processing allows. Usage of the ROSAT Data archive remains high, with thousands of accesses per month on average via W3BROWSE, the ftp site (legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov) and directly via the world-wide web.
The Results Archive
Screening of Standard Analysis Software System (SASS) source lists for the PSPC and the HRI has continued at the US ROSAT centers at GSFC and SAO. Roughly 2000 datasets have been screened at GSFC and SAO, with a similar number of datasets screened at the European data centers (MPE, Potsdam and Leicester). The release of the screened source list for the HRI is planned for late spring 1998. This will represent the first general source list available from the HRI data and will provide positions precise to an arcsecond or better for more than 50,000 unique sources.
HEASARC-NSSDC-WDCRS Memorandum of Understanding
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the HEASARC, the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC), and the World Data Center for Rockets and Satellites (WDCRS) has resulted in the HEASARC being the primary site of the ROSAT data archive in the US. Prior to this MOU, the NSSDC was the primary ROSAT archive, while the HEASARC provided an on-line interface to subsets of the archive. The HEASARC now serves as the prime store and access point for all public ROSAT data, with the NSSDC providing a "deep archive".
A bug in earlier versions of the ROSAT Data File Format software caused the checksum to be written incorrectly to some extensions of the *prt.fits file for a small fraction of ROSAT datasets (about 200 datasets). While the data in the files are undamaged, the checksum value is incorrect and thus the checksum cannot be used for file verification. The affected datasets currently in the archive are being identified and corrected.
After many years of invaluable service to the ROSAT task, Jeff Mullins and Diana Taggart have moved on to other projects and new challenges. Jeff handled a variety of crucial tasks, including SASS installations, database administration and public data approval and release, and solved numerous problems, thereby helping to keep things running smoothly during a time of many transitions. Diana processed the voluminous amounts of ROSAT data coming down the pipe, kept track of errors and other minutiae related to processing, helped with the ingest and distribution of data, and, despite many bumps and potholes along the way, helped to keep the data flow going efficiently. Their contributions are greatly appreciated and we wish them well in their future endeavours. The current USRSDC staff consists of: Kenton Adams (jukebox and archive manager), Mike Black (data processing technician), Maia Good (Task Leader, database management, approval and release of US public data, ingest and archiving of European public data, SASS installations, mission timeline database updates, RFITS software maintenance), Sumant Krishnaswamy (science support, data processing troubleshooting), and Rosilyn Seay (system manager).
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