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December 1994                                 Volume 2, No. 11


IUE DATA ANALYSIS CENTER NEWSLETTER


This is an electronic newsletter edited by the IUE Data Analysis Center (IUEDAC)intended to inform the numerous remote and local users of the IUEDAC software of recent software updates and project changes.

  • CHANGES IN GODDARD SECURITY
  • During the past few months there have been several reported cases of computer and other equipment disappearing from Goddard offices. As a result, Goddard security has asked employees to lock all rooms after normal business hours, including common areas such as the IUEDAC terminal room. This may mean that IUEDAC visitors will have trouble accessing the IUEDAC terminal room during off-hours, particularly when the VILSPA observing shift occurs during these times. As an additional security measure, cardkey card readers are expected to be installed on the outside doors to Building 21 which will be locked regularly on weekends, government holidays, and weekdays from 6 PM to 6 AM. Arrangements are being made with Goddard security to have visitor cards available at the main gate for IUE observers and IUEDAC users who may need off-hour access. The IUE project is also looking into the possibility of installing a card reader on the terminal room door which would be compatible with the card reader installed on the outside doors. More information will be distributed once final decisions are made. rwt

  • CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: NEWSIPS BASED
  • RE-EXAMINATIONS OF OLDER IUE PROGRAMS

    The IUEDAC is developing a variety of documentation to facilitate the use of IUE Final Archive data among both veteran and novice investigators. In an effort to foster research activities with these data, we would like to request that long term users of IUE data volunteer to rerun their early research programs using the data processed with NEWSIPS. We would like to work with the volunteers to get them acquainted with the new data set, and to receive from the volunteers something akin to a lab report describing in detail how they went about their research, which analysis tools they used, etc. From these lab reports we would develop tutorials as examples of how a beginner would approach a research problem using IUE data. These would go into various documentation media including the World Wide Web. The volunteer would be listedas first author on the document. The IUE Project cannot provide any financial support or resources of any kind EXCEPT to provide technical support in using the data. This support will be provided as archival researcher support by IUEDAC personnel. We would greatly appreciate any help in this matter, and would like to be able to provide tutorials representing the full range of investigations undertaken using IUE data. trm

  • TELESCOPE OPERATIONS NEWS
  • In the last newsletter we neglected to send our best wishes to Dr. Ron Pitts, who left the IUE project to work at the Space Telescope Science Institute in September. Ron was a resident astronomer with IUE for over 10 years, and his experience will be sorely missed by the IUE project. mtc

  • IUE IMAGE PROCESSING NEWS
  • Holiday Backlogs
  • 'Tis the season to be jolly... and also for backlogs to develop in the IUE Image Processing Center. So there may be some delays, on the order of a week, in processing your newly obtained IUE data. As always, if you need priority processing or if you would like your data loaded to your IUEDAC account, please ask your RA to fill out a priority processing request during your observing shift. We will make sure your data are available as soon as possible.

  • IUESIPS Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q: I get my data electronically through the IUEDAC, so I do not need those 9-track GO tapes you keep sending me. Can I request to NOT receive them? A: Sure. Contact your RA, Cathy Imhoff (imhoff@iuegtc.gsfc.nasa.gov), or Karen Levay (levay@iuegtc.gsfc.nasa.gov) before your shift and let them know. Q: Could you send me my data on Exabyte tape instead of 9-track tapes? A: Sorry but no. We don't have an Exabyte drive. We are trying to set up a system by which GOs can retrieve their data electronically. Q: I put in a request for IUESIPS reprocessing several months ago. Why haven't you processed the data yet? A: Sorry, but we do archival reprocessing on a "time available" basis. Because of the ongoing cutbacks at NASA, we process during only one 8-hour shift now instead of the two shifts we used to have. We will do our best. Please let us know if the need for the data becomes urgent.

  • Progress on the IUE Final Archive
  • The Image Processing Center continues to make good progress in processing archival IUE images with the NEWSIPS software. So far we have processed over 13,000 SWP images. We expect to complete the first set of SWP data (low dispersion images taken by NASA before 1990) in the next several weeks. We have also started processing LWP data (low dispersion images taken by NASA before 1990). Thanks to some newly added disk space, we are processing and archiving data at more than twice the rate we had previously attained. In addition, we have ported the NEWSIPS software to run on an Alpha. Tests so far show that a low-dispersion image runs about 4 times faster on the available Alpha than our DECstation5000. We expect to start using this system in the next week or so to further increase our processing throughput. Nearly all the NASA SWP low dispersion images (image numbers < 37929) are now available from the NSSDC's NDADS system. As noted above, we have just started processing the LWP data. If you have some LWP low dispersion images (NASA images with image numbers < 17058) you would like to have processed through NEWSIPS, you can request them through our new automated GO request utility (see below).

  • NEWSIPS Software to Be Made Available
  • The IUE Project is making the NEWSIPS processing software available. The software will be placed in an ftp account at the IUEDAC and will be available to the public on January 15, 1995. Some documentation will be provided with the software, which runs under portable MIDAS on many platforms. However little support will be available due to resource limitations. Details will be published in the next IUEDAC newsletter, after the account, software, and documentation have been set up. For further information concerning the software, please contact Joy Nichols (nichols@iuegtc.gsfc.nasa.gov, or 301-794-1410).

  • Final Archive Processing on Request Now Available
  • (Full description published in NASA IUE Newsletter No. 54) Are you interested in analyzing the new IUE Final Archive data but your favorite image has not been processed yet? We are now accepting requests to put your images at the front of the processing queue. In order to handle your images quickly and accurately, we have devised an automated method to put your request into our processing database. To do this, send an e-mail message in the correct format to USRREQ@IUEGTC.GSFC.NASA.GOV. Currently you may request NEWSIPS processing for SWP and LWP low-dispersion images taken at Goddard before January 1, 1990 (SWP image numbers < 37929, LWP image numbers < 17058). As other datasets become available, they will be added to our request service. The IUEDAC has a new procedure, USRREQ, to format your request properly and submit it. The procedure USRREQ is much like the procedure IUEFX. Just type USRREQ,DUMMY If not supplied, name, email address, phone number, and affiliation will be prompted for. The most basic mode will then prompt the user for the camera name, image number, and dispersion for each image. For assistance with USRREQ, please contact a member of the IUEDAC staff. You may also send the request by e-mail directly. The request must be in the following format. NAME Joe Astronomer EMAIL_ADDRESS joe@some.computer.edu PHONE 555-555-5555 SPONSOR University of Life IMAGELIST SWP01234L SWP12345L LWP09876L ENDOFLIST When your request is received, it will be placed into the automated system. You will receive an e-mail message listing the status of each of your requested images. The possible status of an image is (1) already processed, (2) will be queued for rapid processing, (3) can not be processed at this time, or (4) A image, will not be processed at Goddard. When your request is completed, you will receive a second e-mail message. Processed data will be archived on the NSSDC's NDADS system. The NEWSIPS files should be available within a week or two. You may use the IUEDAC routine IUEFX to retrieve the data, or you may retrieve the files using the NSSDC ARMS utility (see NASA IUE Newsletter, No. 52, pg. 70, for a brief description). For further information, please contact Cathy Imhoff (imhoff@iuegtc.gsfc.nasa.gov, or 301-794-1470). cli

  • IUE REFERENCE MATERIAL
  • IUE Image Processing Manuals
  • We have available copies of both the IUESIPS Image Processing Manual (Version 2.0) and the NEWSIPS Image Processing Manual (Version 1.0). Please contact Cathy Imhoff for a copy.

  • IUE Atlases Available
  • We have two very useful IUE spectral atlases available on request. "IUE Ultraviolet Spectral Atlas" by C.-C. Wu et al. 1991, NASA IUE Newsletter, No. 43. Plots IUE spectra, tabulates fluxes for MK standard stars. "IUE Ultraviolet Spectral Atlas of Selected Astronomical Objects" by C.-C. Wu et al. 1992, NASA Ref. Publ. No. 1285 Plots IUE spectra, tabulates fluxes for planets, variable stars, galaxies, etc. If you would like a copy or two, please contact Cathy Imhoff at imhoff@iuegtc.gsfc.nasa.gov or (301) 794-1470. cli

  • PR IMAGES AVAILABLE IN GIF FORMAT
  • Many of the Public Relation images formerly only available in PostScript format are now also available in gif format. Please see the README file in the pub/images subdirectory of iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov's anonymous ftp account for further information. A WWW browser of these GIF images will be made available in the near future. pjl & mtc

  • TEXTRONIX TERMINAL EMULATION
  • Many IUEDAC remote users work from personal computers using commercially available terminal emulation programs. Since remote X-window sessions may be inefficient on multi-user systems such as IUE, staff members generally recommend programs which emulate Tektronix 4010-4015 terminals for those users who want graphics-capability. (If graphics is not required, any DEC VT-xxx emulation or X-window device should suffice.) Currently more than 20 vendors produce terminal emulation programs which can run under DOS, Microsoft Windows and/or Apple computers. A review of these programs was included in the September and October issues of Digital News and Review. We occasionally receive comments from users regarding problems running specific IUEDAC routines using these emulation programs. Most of the problems seem to deal with the routines which use interactive cursor commands. If any users recommend specific programs, we would be interested in hearing about it, and will make the information available to other users. Also, now that staff members have access to a PC and a Mac, we hope to evaluate some of these products and determine why any problems exist. rwt

  • IUEDAC SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE UPDATES
  • Recent System Changes: 11/23/94 - MultiNet version 3.3 revision C installed on cluster. Recent Software Changes: 21-NOV A new version of IUESPEC was added to the experimental library which uses more informative error messages, allows version numbers for vms input files, and does not abort when extensions are specified with the input file name. 21-NOV Experimental versions now exist for all IUEDAC programs in which the system logicals and environment variables will be replaced by IDL system variables. The changes should be transparent to users. 21-NOV The IUE merged log was updated. Goddard entries through Nov. 10th are included. 23-NOV Following experimental routines were implemented: IUESPEC - improved error messages, allows extensions & version numbers in input file name NEWCALIB - includes NEWSIPS LWP low dispersion calibrations and corrections for read gain IFITSWRT - properly removes any blank lines after END keyword IUEPRECESS - defaults to FK5 rather than FK4 system CON_SAV - supports Multinet block mode CURESTR - allows IUEDAC routines to process LWP low dispersion NEWSIPS data 23-NOV The IUEJRNL and ALIAS database tables have been updated. IUE images referenced in papers published in 1985 have been included. 09-DEC A new routine called BOXCAR is available in the experimental library which allows users to extract fluxes from either IUESIPS ELBL or NEWSIPS SILO files using a boxcar slit extraction. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Notice: In order to improve software portability, all IUEDAC programs currently using system logicals or environment variables will be modified to use IDL system variables instead. The database routines have already been modified. All changes should be transparent to users, but small changes in the IUEDAC software installation procedure will be required at remote sites. rwt

  • NEW VERSION OF BOXCAR PROCEDURE
  • There is now a program called BOXCAR in our experimental library which performs customized boxcar extractions of spectra from SILO files. It will also work on IUESIPS line-by-line files. Those who were using this program before should now use the version in the experimental library. The Chebyshev background fitting works properly now, and a bug (wrong default center line for the large aperture in SILO files) was fixed. llt

  • MERGED OBSERVING LOG UPDATES AND CHANGES
  • The IUE Merged Log (IUELOG) database has been updated and is now current for observations through the 10th November 1994. The IUEFES database is current for observations through the 23rd of May 1994. The sun_mergelog.tar.Z and ultrix_mergelog.tar.Z files are in the pub/software subdirectory of iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov's anonymous ftp account. The updated documentation file, iuelog.txt is available in the pub/beta subdirectory. Please see the README files in each directory for further information. IUELOG now includes the Final Archive processing date. The fields `nproc_date' and `nprocjdate' give the date in day-month-year and Julian date formats respectively. The IUESIPS processing date fields, `proc_date' and `procjdate', have been renamed to `iproc_date' and `iprocjdate' respectively. The new versions of the procedures to handle this change are available in the pub/beta subdirectory of iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov's anonymous ftp account. Please see the README file for further information. The new Final Archive Status Flag (field fa_status in IUELOG) of `1' has been added to the code and documentation. pjl

  • IUE REFERENCE DATABASE UPDATES
  • The IUE Reference databases (IUEJRNL, IUECAOU, and ALIAS) have been updated. The IUE images used and objects observed information has been added for the articles published in 1985. This version has articles through 1993. The IUE images used and objects observed information is complete through 1985 and for the years 1990 through 1992. The sun_ref.tar.Z and ultrix_ref.tar.Z files are in the pub/software subdirectory of iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov's anonymous ftp account. The updated documentation files - iuejrnl.txt, iuecoau.txt, and iuealias.txt - are available in the pub/beta subdirectory. Please see the README files in each directory for further information. The sun_stdstars_db.tar.Z and ultrix_stdstars_db.tar.Z compressed tar files in iuesn1's anonymous ftp account (subdirectory pub/software) now contain the new ALIAS table. pjl

  • UPDATES TO THE STANDARD STAR SPECTRA DATABASE
  • A modified version of the IUEDAC IDL procedure HFIX has been run on all the IUE Standard Star spectra that the IUEDAC keeps on line. The program added the ITF flag, exposure time, and the THDA sensitivity correction flag to allow IUESPEC to be run without the user being prompted for this information. Note the LWR degradation flag was turned off so users could run RBSENSCOR after IUESPEC. The sun_stdstars.tar.Z and ultrix_stdstars.tar.Z files in the pub/software subdirectory of iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov's anonymous ftp account now contains these corrected files. pjl

  • REMINDER ABOUT IUESN1 ANONYMOUS FTP ACCESS
  • Please note, iuesn1's anonymous ftp account is also accessible via the World Wide Web. Using the Web allows you to read the README files without needing to transfer them to your system. To access the anonymous ftp account via the Web you may start at the IUEDAC homepage (the URL is: http://iuesn1.gsfc.nasa.gov/iue/iuedac.html), then select the `IUEDAC Unix/Ultrix Analysis Software Library' item. You will be placed the pub subdirectory of iuesn1's anonymous ftp account. pjl

  • COMMENTS ON OPERATIONS COSTS
  • The IUE Project wishes to comment on the statement concerning cost for observatory operations made by the Senior Review panel, dated November 16, 1994; "the panel notes that operations and staff expense are relatively high for the specialized range of problems now being conducted". The Project wishes to note that the budget for IUE has been historically lower when compared with other comparably sized operating missions, several of which were included in the review. The Project has expanded its capabilities and services including the major efforts of rehosting of Science Operations, both hardware and software, without an augmentation to its budget. The Project has constantly been striving for increased efficiencies and has decreased its operational costs for the past two episodes. The IUE budget for FY 95 is $3.71M, which includes science and spacecraft operations, data processing and distribution, all guest observer services including the IUEDAC, the Final Archive program, and spacecraft operations support during the ESA-Vilspa shift. The low cost is especially significant considering the oversubscription rate for US1 and US2 shifts that continues to be high, even though Guest Observer grants were eliminated in Episode 16. Finally, although a few of the important science programs were highlighted for the Senior Review as examples of significant research still being done with IUE, the broad scope of science being done with the instrument continues. am

    Editor: Dr. Michael Carini Contributors: Mr. Randy Thompson Dr. Tom Meylan Ms. Pat Lawton Ms. Lyla Taylor Dr. Cathy Imhoff Dr. Andrew Michalitsianos

    Web Curator:

    Dr. Michael Carini, Science Programs, Computer Sciences Corporation.

    Responsible NASA organization/official:

    Dr. Don West, IUE Operations Scientist.