Appendix E: Associated Programs


The HEAsoft package provides a number of programs and subroutine libraries to manipulate the FITS files used by XSPEC. A description of most tasks can be obtained by typing fhelp taskname or to get a complete list fhelp ftools.

HEAsoft reading tasks

ftlist Prints the contents of a FITS file to the screen or to a file
ftdmprmf Prints the contents of a FITS RMF file to the screen or to a file. This tool prints the RMF file in a more legible fashion than ftlist

HEAsoft manipulation tasks

fthedit Changes the value of a keyword in a FITS extension header
ftgrouppha Defines (or redefines) and/or displays the grouping and quality flags, the important keywords, and the fractional systematic errors.
ftrbnpha Compresses a FITS PHA file to a user-defined number of channels. The output is a new file containing the revised PHA extension plus a direct copy of any other extensions in the original file.
mathpha Performs arithmetical operations on PHA files.
ftcmppha Convert a type II pha file to a type I pha file.
ftrbnrmf Bins a FITS RMF file (the detector response matrix) in channel or energy space.
ftcmprmf Compress an RMF by removing all response below a threshold value.
ftaddarf Adds together ARFs.
ftaddrmf Adds together RMFs.
ftmarfrmf Multiplies an RMF file by an ARF file.
ftgenrsp A generic spectral response generator.
fv A general GUI for manipulating FITS files.

HEAsoft subroutines

The heasp library in heacore/heasp is a C++ class library for manipulating all the filetypes used by XSPEC. This provides both C++ and C routines as well as a Python package. A complete description is available at:

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Last modified: Tuesday, 28-May-2024 10:09:22 EDT