Guide to Science Software and Data on HEAD Computers

This is a preliminary version of a document which will hopefully evolve into a useful SCIENCE HELP page. This is meant to be an easily accessed directory of science software and data products which are available in the high energy division, primarily those which are maintained by "volunteer" scientists. This should supplement the current system wherein information is distributed mostly by email. This system puts the burden on every user to maintain an archive of documents, and makes it difficult for new people.

This does not apply to software and data which are officially maintained by the system managers (e.g. IRAF, PROS, FTOOLS). They do a fine job of documenting and advertising their work. For convienience, this page may include pointers and/or supplements to the system documentation.

The idea is to make this a cooperative venture - this document can be edited by anyone on the HEAD network (/proj/qedros2/QEDT/www/Science_guide/science_guide.html). (A backup version will be kept, since mistakes or mischief can happen). We strongly encourage scientists to use this channel to inform the rest of the community about useful software or data which they have installed or upgraded.
This page is currently quite incomplete. Suggestions/modifications welcome!


Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations


A photoionization code for modelling X-ray spectra, the physics of X-ray heating and cooling, and highly ionized gases.


A radio astronomy package which handles polarization data nicely and has a unix-like command line interface.

FTOOLS / Xselect

General utilities for manipulating FITS files, and specific tools for X-ray data reduction. Includes Xselect and related scripts for processing ASCA data.


X-ray analysis system, including Xspec, Xronos, Ximage, qdp, and pgplot.


Find the Galactic neutral hydrogen column density in a given direction.


An astronomical coordinate conversion and precession program.

HEASARC Calibration database (CALDB)

Local copy of the HEASARC Calibration Database, which has calibration data, software, and documentation for many satellite missions.

HEASARC mission data

Local copies of the mission data available from HEASARC by FTP. These include software and documents for writing and submitting proposals. The PIMMS program and documentation can be found here. Note that, as currently distributed by HEASARC, there are different versions of PIMMS for different missions. The calibration data in the local CALDB are more likely to be up to date than the corresponding data which are found in these directories.