ROSAT Guest Observer Facility

ROSAT Status Report # 74:

December 9, 1993


As noted in ROSAT Status Report #65, FTOOLS are a collection of utility programs to create/modify or examine data files in the FITS format. FTOOLS form the basis of the ASCA analysis system, but there are a large number of general FITS tools which are useful for the analysis of ROSAT data, along with an increasing number of ROSAT-specific tasks. The FTOOLS tasks run either standalone on all common platforms, and/or can be installed as an IRAF package.

The FTOOLS software is currently divided into the following areas:

The caltools area includes several useful ROSAT tasks (in addition to ASCA and other tasks) some of these are new to version 2.7 (new tasks applicable to ROSAT are marked *):
Displays an RMF (redist matrix) file in user-friendly way
Multiplies an ancillary response file by a redist matrix
Creates an exposure map for a ROSAT PSPC observation
Rebins RPSF data, and produces theoretical ROSAT PSPC RPSF
Interogates local Caldb for location of a dataset
* rsp2rmf
Converts SF format response matrices to OGIP FITS format
Converts OGIP format radial profile file to ASCII QDP
Physically compresses a RMF file
Reads STWFITS file and writes an OGIP RPSF file
* stw2pha
Converts PHA file produced by STWFITS to OGIP FITS format

Other ROSAT-related FTOOLS include:

Manipulates OGIP standard PHA FITS file (groups data)
Calculates time intervals (GTIs) from housekeeping (HK) data
Create a new table from selected rows of a table
Converts SF format (old XSPEC) PHA file to OGIP FITS format
Filters an event list within given time intervals (GTIs)
Removes bursts of events (afterpulses) from time ordered event list
Plots columns in a FITS file using QDP/PLT package ***


  1. stw2pha can be used in place of proscon. First, dump the iraf/pros file to IRAF FITS using STSDAS.FITSIO.STWFITS, then, convert to the OGIP standard FITS using stw2pha. This FITS file can then be read into xspec. This task does not make a response matrix. For the on_axis case please use the FITS matrix from legacy.gsfc:

    /caldb/data/rosat/pspc/cpf/pspcb_93jan12.rmf or pspcb_92mar11.rmf (etc)

    A software tool will soon be available to make a "correction file" for the off-axis case.

  2. pspcexpm creates the band-correct exposure map for a ROSAT PSPC pointed observation. (The task is essentially an FTOOLized version of Steve Snowden's CAST_EXP code). Detector maps created from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey data are required. The output is a 512x512 FITS image of the whole PSPC field of view (with pixels 16 arcsec per side) of the effective exposure time (in seconds) at that position. The effects of vignetting (for a spectrum equal to the mean spectrum of the X-ray background in the PSPC band) and spatial variations in the efficiency of the detector are included (via the detector maps), along with detector deadtime effects (this code).

    The program follows the suggestions of Snowden et al. (1992, ApJ, 393 819) and Plucinsky et al. (1993, ApJ, in press) to exclude regions of the PSPC near the edges of the PSPC which are strongly affected by the particle background, the "bright line" regions. The program also assumes that a selection has been done on the data to exclude all events which follow within 0.35 ms of a "precursor" event. This excludes some of the low pulse-height "after-Pulse" signal which affects data collected after 1992 May.

    In brief, the attitude and GTI files are used to construct a matrix of the time the instrument spent at each pointing position (X,Y relative to the nominal pointing position defined by the optical axis) and roll angle. (The X,Y are in units of 14.94733 arc seconds for historical reasons, the ROLL steps are in units of 0.2076 degrees.) The event-rates file is then used to calculate the live-time fraction at each of these positions. Finally the output exposure map is constructed by moving the detector map to each off-axis position, rotated to each roll angle, and adding the detector map with the appropriate weighting factor to the exposure map under construction.


This is a BETA test version of the code.

A number of OGIP-required FITS keywords are not yet written to the o/p exposure map. These will be added in the near future.

FTOOLS Announcement of Release

The FTOOLS release version 2.7 is now ready and available. You can find compressed tar files in the /software/ftools/release/ directory of the anonymous FTP account on These files are:

-rw-r--r--  61521 Dec  7 19:17
-rw-r--r--  36444 Dec  7 19:17
-rw-r--r--  52119 Dec  7 19:17
-rw-r--r--  234637 Dec  7 19:17
-rw-r--r--  6762731 Dec  7 20:29 ftools.dec.v2.7.tar.Z
-rw-r--r--  6976935 Dec  7 20:31 ftools.osf.v2.7.tar.Z
-rw-r--r--  6167288 Dec  7 20:32 ftools.sun.v2.7.tar.Z
-rw-r--r--  7003349 Dec  7 20:33 ftools.vms.v2.7.tar.Z

This release of FTOOLS contains several significant differences from the previous releases, in addition to the usual enhancements and bug fixes:

  • twelve new tasks are included:
    in caltools package: marfrmf,pspcexpm,stw2pha
    in the heasarc package: ascalin,nsparf,sf2pha,timeconv,cleansis
    in new xte package: sacurve,securve,saspec,sespec
  • Four tasks have been removed from the heasarc package and replaced by ascalin: gislin, sislin, coord, fixedasp
  • the cktimeorder task was renamed cktime
  • a new mkftools script has been written having more options
  • the VMS version now builds all tasks, rather than including some executables. In addition, the XPI command interpretter is built instead of being included as an object library.
  • The high energy astrophysics data analysis program XSELECT is now built on all platforms. This program is not yet available under VMS. This version of FTOOLS and XSELECT is compatible with FRFREAD version 3.004.
  • the whole of the ISAS atFunctions library is included to support some of the ASCA specific tasks. The source code is slightly modified from the original so that it will run on all platforms.

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This file was last modified on Tuesday, 14-Sep-1999 11:47:03 EDT

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