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BeppoSAX U.S. Coordination Facility
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BeppoSAX e-mail news n. 7

E-mail n. 7

                                                   07 January 1999
Dear BeppoSAX user,
this is the seventh BeppoSAX "e-mail news" message and covers the 
following topics:
        1. Release of SAXDAS 2.0  software
        2. Release of improved calibrations
	3. Cookbook for NFI Spectral Analysis
	4. MECS support under MIDAS
	5. MECS guided tour	
	6. SDC on line simulator

1. Release of SAXDAS 2.0  software
SAXDAS 2.0 has to be installed under ftools4.2

Modifications with respect to SAXDAS 1.3:

- Full use of the new C based CFITSIO library included in FTOOLS4.2

- Support to PDS expanded to the temperature dependent RiseTime selection.
  A flag is added to each event in the PDS linearized and equalized 
  event file to identify photons within the temperature dependent and
  energy dependent RiseTime threesholds. The observer can then screen
  these events running for example "fselect".
  Spectra and lightcurves are extracted as in SAXDAS 1.3 using 

- Full support to HPGSPC.

- Energy dependent exposure maps for the MECS instrument ("expomaps").
  The program takes into accunt the energy dependant vignetting
  of the telescopes and the wobble of the telescopes during the

- Calculation of MECS effective area files for extended sources ("effarea").
  The program convolves a given surface brightness (provided as an
  ascii file) with the MECS energy and position 
  dependent PSF and vignetting functions. The program can provide 
  ``arf'' files relative to circles or annulii. It has been tested on 
  Coma cluster and the results compared to those obtained using
  ASCA data, finding a good agreement.

- Several minor bugs have been corrected.

The SAXDAS 2.0 software is available from the SDC anonymous ftp service:
 Name : anonymous
 cd /pub/sax/software/saxdas

SAXDAS_2.0.0.tar.gz             SAXDAS software, release December 1998
SAXLEcaldb_1.8.0.tar.gz         SAXDAS LECS cal files for data reduction
SAXMEcaldb_1.5.3.tar.gz         SAXDAS MECS cal files for data reduction
SAXPDcaldb_1.3.0.tar.gz         SAXDAS PDS cal files for data reduction
SAXHPcaldb_0.1.0.tar.gz         SAXDAS HPGSPC cal files for data reduction

Programs dedicated to PDS and HPGSPC spectra and light curve 
extraction (tcl scripts and OSF executables) can be also retrieved as 
separate files under the directories "pds" and "hp":

 cd /pub/sax/software/saxdas/pds

 2842624 Dec 22 17:32 pdmergelc
     236 Dec 22 17:32 pdmergelc.par
   15406 Dec 22 17:32 pdproducts         tcl script
     642 Dec 22 17:32 pdproducts.par
 5554176 Dec 22 17:33 pdsublc
     420 Dec 22 17:33 pdsublc.par

cd /pub/sax/software/saxdas/hp
 2752512 Dec 22 17:41 hpgroup
     402 Dec 22 17:41 hpgroup.par
    4224 Dec 22 17:41 hpgrpgti
     164 Dec 22 17:42 hpgrpgti.par
 2891776 Dec 22 17:40 hpproducts
    1354 Dec 22 17:40 hpproducts.par

2. Release of improved calibrations

- An improved effective area file (.arf file) for the HPGSPC
  (produced by the CNR/IFCAI HPGSPC group) is now available.

- A new calibration of the telescope vignetting, performed using
  in-flight data (MECS only, produced by the CNR/IFCAI and CNR/IFCTR groups, 
  see the report in 
  the SDC anonymous ftp area,,
  is now available. It is part of the SAXDAS 2.0 release.

- New LECS  "blank fields" and "non X-ray" background files are
  now available (care of SSD/ESA).

- New MECS "blank fields" and "non X-ray" background files are
  now available (care of SDC and CNR/IFCTR)

.arf and .rmf response files are available from the SDC anonymous
ftp in the 



Background event files and .pha files are available in the


directory. Please consult the README files before retriving the 
new calibrations.

3. Cookbook for NFI Spectral Analysis

This handbook can be retrived from the SDC anonymous ftp service:

 Name : anonymous
 cd /pub/sax/doc/software_docs

It integrates and expands  the BeppoSAX SDC data analysis 
Cookbook (
for what concerns the spectral analysis of the Narrow Field 
Instruments and the combination of their data. Data reduction 
and products extraction processes are briefly reviewed. The problem
of the NFI intercalibration is then discussed in detail.
Finally background subtraction issues are briefly discussed.

4. MECS support under MIDAS

Cettina Maccarone (CNR/IFCAI) has developed a context in MIDAS to
support MECS data analysis.  The "saxmecs" context allows to convert
BeppoSAX-MECS FITS data (as accumulated with the SAXDAS and FTOOLS
software packages) into MIDAS tables and images, to perform on them
some basic functions, and to generate the analytical on-axis MECS
Point Spread Function.  The context, mainly designed to take advantage
of the several image analysis ESO-MIDAS tools, can be retrieved and
easily installed to run under ESO-MIDAS version 97NOV or later. The
"saxmecs" software package will, on request, be distributed at no-cost
to non-profit research institutes or individual researchers (please,
send your request to the author at The
distribution file (gzipped tar file) will contain the complete source
code plus the procedure files for compiling and linking, embedded in a
hierarchical directory structure, together with the help-on-line
documentation. Updating of the "saxmecs" context, if any, will be
notified to whom received the first distribution file.

5. MECS guided tour

Lucio Chiappetti (CNR/IFCTR) has prepared "A guided tour to the MECS
and to its response matrix".
The "tour" can be accessed at the following URL:

6. SDC on-line simulator

The SDC on-line simulator now supports the following missions/instruments:

XMM EPIC (partial support, standard modes only)
AXAF ACIS (partial support, standard modes only, back illuminated chip)

We remind you that the simulator does not use a raytracing and
therefore the simulations should not be used for very detailed
studies.  Nevertheless the simulator can be helpful to preparate
standard proposals. It can quickly generate the event files
appropriate for each given instrument of a generic field previously
observed by ROSAT during the All Sky Survey or as a pointed
observation. The simulator can also simulate complex fields with
extended sources in addition to point sources.  See the on-line
help. The event files can be analyzed on-line or retrieved for a local


Wishing you Happy New Year we invite you to view our on-line
BeppoSAX calendar 1999 at 

We remind you that the BeppoSAX AO3 for the Core Program and the
Guest Observer Program is now open, with deadline

 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>        February 1 1999         <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Information on the AO is available from the BeppoSAX SDC web pages:

Fabrizio Fiore & Paolo Giommi
BeppoSAX Science Data Center

------------------BeppoSAX SDC useful addresses and numbers----------------
WWW home page
anonymous ftp
phone             +39 06 40796307 (M.E. Pennisi, SDC secretary)
fax               +39 06 40793855, +39 06 40796291
p-mail address    BeppoSAX Science Data Center
                  c/o Nuova Telespazio
                  via Corcolle 19 
                  00131 Roma
how to reach us 

                                                   15 January 1999
Dear BeppoSAX user,
this is an addendum to the seventh BeppoSAX "e-mail news" message 
issued on January 7 1999.

The BeppoSAX software, calibration and documentation is available not only
from the SDC anonymous ftp service but also from its mirror at HEASARC:

 Name : anonymous
 cd sax/software/saxdas               SAXDAS 2.0

 cd sax/software/saxdas/pds           SAXDAS 2.0 PDS dedicated software
 cd sax/software/saxdas/hp            SAXDAS 2.0 HPGSPC dedicated software

 cd sax/cal/responses/98_11           .arf and .rmf response files 

 cd sax/cal/bgd/98_11                 Background event and .pha files
 sax/doc/software_docs                Cookbook for NFI spectral analysis
 sax/doc/reports/ A report on the in-flight calibration 
                                      of the telescopes vignetting 

Fabrizio Fiore 
BeppoSAX Science Data Center