sf2pha -- converts old-style (SF) format PHA file to OGIP FITS format


        sf2pha infil outfil phaversn qoverride


This task converts a "Standard Format" (SF) PHA file (binary files used by XSPEC prior to 1992) into an OGIP-standard FITS file. This involves writing both general & instrument-specific information into the FITS file. The o/p files are compatible with XSPEC version >8.2.

A detailed description of the o/p FITS file format is given in Arnaud etal (1992 Legacy, 2, 65), and in the OGIP Memos OGIP/92-007 & OGIP/92-007a available via the OGIP anonymous ftp account on (in Postscript) as caldb/docs/memos/ & respectively. The task is slowly evolving to deal with instrument-specific information from more & more instruments. At the current time, the task is only able to write such information for the following experiments:


Medium Energy (ME)

Gas Scintillation Proportional Counter (GSPC)

Transmission Grating Spectrometer (TGS)

It is anticipated that the full task, able to convert PHA datasets from any instrument for which there are SF datasets within the HEASARC database will be available in the near future.

For further information regarding this task, current plans/schedule, comments or bug reports, please contact Ian M George (


infil [character string]
The name of the old-style (SF) PHA file to be converted to OGIP-standard FITS format.

outfil [character string]
The name of the OGIP-standard FITS PHA file to be created

phaversn = 1.1.0 [character string]
The OGIP FITS format version for PHA files in which the o/p FITS is to be written. The default is PHAVERSN='1.1.0' (previously known as '1992a'), and is currently to only format allowed.

qoverride = no [boolean]
Logical indicating whether the user wishes to override the deconvolution of the mission and instrument strings derived from the corresponding string supplied in the SF file. This is often necessary since the task only performs a rather crude deconvolution itself and since the RSP file often contains non-OGIP-standard strings, and/or insufficient information. The default is QOVERRIDE=N

(origin = UNKNOWN) [character string]
The name of the organization and/or author running the task. The default value is ORIGIN=UNKNOWN.

telescop [character string]
The user-supplied string for the telescope name, required if QOVERRIDE=Y

instrume [character string]
The user-supplied string for the instrument name, required if QOVERRIDE=Y

filter [character string]
The user-supplied string for the name of any movable filter in use, required if QOVERRIDE=Y. FILTER=NONE should be used if on such movable filter is in use.

detnam [character string]
The user-supplied string for the sub-instrument name, required if QOVERRIDE=Y. DETNAM=NONE should be used if the specification of a sub-instrument is unnecessary.

(chatter =9) [integer]
Flag to indicate how chatty the task is at execution. A value of 9 is the default, with lower/higher values producing quieter/verbose output respectively.

(clobber = no) [boolean]
Flag specifying whether or not a pre-existing file with the same name as that requested as the output file from this task will be overwritten.


This tool may not be used for data file after year 2007.


CAL/GEN/92-002 (George etal 1992 Legacy, 2, 51),



v2.0.0 (1994 Mar)
Added dynamic memory allocation

v1.4.0 (1994 Feb)

v1.0.0 (1993 Oct)
public release version

v1.0.0 (1992 Oct)
Beta-test version


     Ian M George


Mar94 ftools.heasarc