The Standard Hera Interface

Standard Hera is the original Hera interface that provides interactive access to all the Hera capabilities for analyzing astronomical data. Follow the instructions on the Starting Hera web page to configure your computer to use Hera. This basically involves installing the small fv program on your local machine and then testing that the required network connections are functioning.

Connecting to Hera

Once fv has been installed there are several ways to connect to Hera. The simplest method is to start the fv application, then select the "Connect to Hera..." option on the fv desktop manager window (it usually appears in the upper left corner of your monitor).

You may also connect to Hera directly without explicitly starting up the fv task.

  • On Unix systems (including Mac OS-X), do this by executing the command fv -hera instead of just fv.
    (For this to work, you may need to add the directory path to the fv executable to your PATH environment variable, or else create an alias so that 'fv' is equivalent to specifying the full path).

  • On Windows PCs, you may make a desk top icon to connect directly to Hera by making a copy of the fv desktop icon (drag it to an empty area on the desktop while holding down the right mouse button, release the mouse, then select the "Copy here" option). Then modify this new icon by:
    1. Change the name of this new icon to Hera
    2. Right mouse click on the icon, and select "Properties"
    3. Edit the "Target" entry box by adding -hera following the fv.exe program name (leave a space character between fv.exe and -hera).
    4. Optionally, you may also modify the image for this icon.
    Now you can connect to Hera simply by double clicking on this icon.

Login Procedure

When Hera starts up, a new window should briefly appear stating "Trying to log on to available network" as it establishes communications with the Hera servers at the HEASARC. This window is usually only displayed for a few seconds before the next login window appears. If the window remains open for a longer period, then there may be difficulties with the network connections. In some cases, the firewall on the local machine may need to be configured to allow fv to communicate with Hera.

After a connection with the Hera server machine has been established, the following Login window will appear:

screen capture of Hera login window

The functions on this window should be self evident: if you already have a Hera User Id and Password, then enter them in the entry boxes on the left, otherwise create a new one by enter the desired new user ID on the right (Hera will tell you if it is already taken). When creating a new user ID, you will be asked to enter your name and an email address which will only be used to contact you if there is a problem related to your account. Make sure that the email address is valid, otherwise your account, and any data in it, may be deleted without notice..

Main Hera Window

After logging in, the main Hera graphical user interface (GUI) window will appear:

screen capture of Hera main window

The window on your machine may not appear exactly has shown here due to ongoing improvements to the interface. The main features of this window are:

  • The 2 frames on the right side of the Hera window display directory listings of the data files in the user's disk area on the Hera server (upper right) and on the user's local machine (lower right).
  • The large frame on the middle left displays all the data analysis tools, organized into various packages. Currently all of the HEASARC's ftools and Xanadu software tasks are available, as well as the tasks in the CIAO Chandra software package. The upper left window displays any high level data analysis scripts that may be available for processing the currently selected data files.

Some of the other main features of the Hera GUI are described on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Getting More Data to Analyze

If you have just created a new Hera User ID, there will of course be no data in it, except for a couple small sample files. To add more data sets from the HEASARC data archive to your Hera account, see the "Copying data to Hera" help page.

The main Hera GUI also lets you directly copy FITS data files between your local computer disk and your disk area on the Hera server. To do this, locate the name of the file in the remote or local directory listings on the main Hera GUI window, then drag (while holding down the RIGHT mouse button) the file name into the desired subdirectory in the other directory window. Only FITS files and small text files are allowed to be copied using this method.

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