ASCA Guest Observer
The ASCA Guest Observer Facility (GOF) is located at ISAS
in Sagmihara, on the outskirts of Tokyo.
The primary responsibility of the ASCA GOF is to enable Japanese
astronomers to make the best use of the ASCA mission. To fulfill
this responsibility, the ASCA GOF staff preforms such activities
as supporting the Japanese side of the ASCA proposal selection
process, distributing useable data to Japanese Guest Observers,
helping Guest Observers to analyze their data, and creating the
ASCA GOF's activities involve close collaboration with the
U.S. ASCA team at Goddard
Space Flight Center.
The ASCA GOF supports guest observers at the following stages:
The scientific question that forms the basis of a proposal
is, of course, the responsibility of the investigator. However,
the ASCA GOF can help by providing the investigator with information
and advice to help him or her ascertain whether (and how) and
ASCA observation might answer that question. For this type of
assistance, the ASCA GOF provides full descriptions of the satellite
and its instruments in the Technical Appendix to the NRA. In
addition, the U.S. ASCA GOF provides software that simulates
ASCA observations (PIMMS and XSPEC).
The GOF staff members are available to answer proposers' questions
and can be reached at a quick-response help-desk by sending e-mail
Once proposals are submitted, they are subjected to a peer
review, a process supported by the GOF, which supplies the reviewers
with the technical evaluations of all proposals. The final stage
for each AO is the creation of a joint observation program by
the merging of the Japanese and U.S. lists of top-ranked proposals.
In their proposals, investigators are not required to specify
in detail exactly how they want their observations carried out.
The GOF needs only enough information to assess the feasibility
of the proposed observations. However, after a successful proposal
has been scheduled as an ASCA observation, the GOF will contact
the investigator to discuss which modes should be used and where
exactly the satellite should point.
Processing and distribution of Data, Calibrations, and
Data are sent to the U.S. ASCA Guest Observer Facility from
ISAS on DAT tape. The data are send in a format very similar
to the original telemetry. The first step in processing the data
at GSFC therefore is to reformat the data into FITS (without
the loss of information). This conversion of data into FITS has
three advantages: 1) FITS is a widely-used standard, 2) the file
contents are self-documenting, and 3) the format is machine-independent.
In addition to distributing the data to the investigator, the
ASCA GOF distributes all of the software and calibration files
needed for reduction and analyisis.
The contents of the data distribution includes the following:
Original telemetry data (for completeness)
Calibrations files and software
Data products (light curves, images, and spectra) derived from
a standard quick look analysis.
By data, we mean science data, housekeeping, orbital, and attitude
information. All of the GOF software and calibrations, as well
as the archival data that are no longer proprietary, are available
to users via anonymous ftp.
ASCA data are rich and complex. To help Guest Observers produce
scientific results, the ASCA Guest Observer Facility (GOF) supplies
fully documented data analysis software. The GOF also staffs
a quick-response help-desk, to which Guest Observers should e-mail
(firstname.lastname@example.org) any questions, comments, or suggestions
about ASCA data analysis.
The ASCA mission archive is maintained and accessed through the
HEASARC . A full description of the
HEASARC archive and how to
access it, is given on the asca gof home page.
ISAS/JAXA Department of High Energy Astrophysics
Last Modified: Tuesday, 20-Nov-2001 22:58:57 JST