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RXTE News: HEAsoft 5.0; Processing Resumes; ObsID Names

       RXTE News:  HEAsoft 5.0;  Processing Resumes;  ObsID Names
This message contains important news about:

 * The release of HEAsoft 5.0, including FTOOLS 5.0.
 * The restart of the RXTE production pipeline.
 * Important changes to the RXTE ObsID directory naming scheme.

Please read all three sections!


** (1) The HEAsoft 5.0 Release

FTOOLS 5.0, released on February 25, 2000 as part of the integrated
HEAsoft package, includes improved RXTE calibration information and
analysis tools for all gain epochs and source count rates. New and
improved background models are now available, and response matrix
generation has been improved and extended into Epoch 4. (See the PCA
Digest for details about the specific improvements in calibration, and
how to apply them in your RXTE data analysis.)

All RXTE data analysts should upgrade their FTOOLS installation to
take advantage of these improvements. For more, see:

** (2) Processing Resumes

Following the RXTE transponder failure on Sept 1st 1999, the
production pipeline and the distribution of production data to GOs was
placed "on hold", as under some circumstances this failure introduced
gaps into RXTE datasets. We have designed, implemented, and fully
tested several software changes to deal appropriately with these gaps,
and as of Feb 1st 2000, pipeline production has resumed.  We hope to
catch up quickly with the backlog.  From now on, data distribution
will be solely electronic, via our Online Data Area.

** (3) Important Changes to the ObsID Directory Naming Scheme

Our solution to the transponder failure includes a number of changes
to the obsID naming scheme. For details of the categories of data
loss, the name changes that indicate that data loss may have occurred,
the compensatory changes to the GTI definition, and the possible
effects of all this on your RXTE data analysis, please examine our new
data analysis recipe at

As always, please write to us at xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov if
you have any questions!


| Dr. Alan P. Smale                | xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov (RXTE)|
| RXTE Guest Observer Facility     | alan@osiris.gsfc.nasa.gov (me)     |
| Code 662,  NASA/GSFC             | (301) 286-7063 (voice)             | 
| Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA         | (301) 286-1682 (FAX)               |
|              RXTE GOF homepage: http://rxte.gsfc.nasa.gov             |