[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Search] [Main Index] [Thread Index] [HEASARC Mailing List Archives]

XTENEWS: HEASoft 5.2 released

                       HEASoft 5.2 Released

Contents at a glance:

* HEASoft 5.2 data analysis software release, including:
* Improvements in PCA background subtraction and response matrix 
* Improvements in ASM barycentric correction routines.


On June 25, 2002 the HEASoft 5.2 data analysis software package was
released to the community.  HEASoft 5.2 includes updates and
improvements to many RXTE analysis tools.  MAC OS X/ Darwin users can
now run the package on their machines.  Details on how to download and
install the new package can be found at

Improvements in PCA data analysis include:

* The recently-released improved PCA Background models for all epochs
and source brightnesses are now handled completely.  In particular,
new combined model files can be downloaded so that users no longer
need to select their background model of interest by observation date.
* Epoch 3 has been split into two separate time ranges (Epochs 3a 
and 3b) due to its very long length;

* Both bright and faint models now rely on knowledge of the 
SAA history of the satellite for Epoch 3 and later.  The file
pca_saa_history.gz is updated daily, and is linked to from the 
PCA Digest in the table of background models;

* In order to provide appropriate filtering options for PCU0 data,
XTEFILT has been modified to create a new column.  New appids are
necessary in the appidlist given to xtefilt.  Type "fhelp xtefilt" for
details and a complete list of appids.

* Also included in this release are new versions of PCARMF, XPCAARF,
and the wrapper script PCARSP, as well as a new energy-to-channel FITS
file pca_e2c_e05v02.fits.  PCARMF v8.0 has a greatly improved
calculation of sigma in the response; logarithmically spaced energy
channels in the matrix; new parameters in the pcarmf.par file which
specify the thickness of the "dead layer" between xenon volumes; and
appropriate handling response generation after the loss of propane
from PCU0.

Derived fluxes from PCU0 still show a discontinuity around the time
period of the loss of the propane layer, although the effect is much
smaller than previously.

IMPORTANT: Note that, in XPCAARF (or more correctly in xpcaarf.par),
changes have been made to the default values for the geometric areas
of four of the five PCUs. These new values make the flux of the Crab
similar when fit separately in all five detectors, but will likely
introduce a step function in campaigns which monitor flux levels over
time. You are advised to regenerate your response matrices and
reanalyze your spectra with the new set of XPCAARF coefficients to
avoid this effect.

See the RXTE PCA Digest Page and links thereon for more details about
background models and response matrix issues.


The barycentric correction tool FAXBARY (first released in FTOOLS
v5.0.4) should be used in preference to the older FXBARY for ASM 
data analysis.  FAXBARY runs quickly on long observations when used
with our newly-created single, mission-long orbit file currently
called FPorbit_0729_3081.fits (the latest version of which can always
can be downloaded from the OrbitEphem directory in the XTE data
archive). Take a look at the the guidelines on the GOF ASM recipe for
information on how to use FAXBARY on ASM light curve FITS files.

Any questions? Send Email to


We apologize if this mailing was inappropriate for you. To unsubscribe
from XTENEWS, please send mail to xtenews-request@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov
with 'unsubscribe yourname@address' as the body of the message. 
'subscribe yourname@address' will subscribe you to the list.

| Dr. Alan P. Smale  (USRA)     | xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov (RXTE)|
| RXTE Guest Observer Facility  | alan@osiris.gsfc.nasa.gov (me)     |
|   & Swift Science Center      | (301) 286-7063 (voice)             | 
| Code 660.1, NASA/GSFC         | (301) 286-0708 (FAX)               |
| Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA      | http://rxte.gsfc.nasa.gov/         |