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Chandra Electronic Bulletin No. 93
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             |              ccc  XX   XX    OOO           |
Chandra      |             CC     XX XX    OO OO          | CXC
Electronic   |            CC       XXX    OO   OO         | Number 93
Bulletin     |             CC     XX XX    OO OO          | February
             |              CCC  XX   XX    OOO           | 2010
             |                                            |

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***  CIAO Updates ***

1.  New ACIS QE Contamination Model

2.  S-LANG

3.  SherpaCL

4.  Mac OS X Power PC

5.  Solaris support 

6. CIAO 3.4 and CALDB3.x


Item 1. New ACIS QE Contamination Model

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the ACIS QE
contamination model
was upgraded to version N0005 as of CALDB 4.2.0 (released in December 2009).

This version of the file contains separate components for the correction
of ACIS-S and ACIS-I.
The changes in the vN0005 file *will primarily affect low-energy
absorption components between C-K edge (0.283 keV) and 1.2 keV*.
In general, *hard spectra will not be affected much by the calibration
These CIAO response tools automatically apply the contamination file
when creating ACIS response files:

     * mkarf
     * mkgarf
     * mkwarf
     * mkinstmap

As well as the scripts which use them:

     * specextract
          (calls mkwarf)
     * psextract
       (calls mkarf)
     * acisspec
       (calls mkwarf)
     * fullgarf
       (calls mkgarf)
     * merge_all
       (calls mkinstmap)

*Effective areas, instrument maps and exposure maps created with the old
and the new version of the ACIS QE Contamination Model might differ significantly at the low energy.*

We strongly advise users to read the paragraph "ACIS QE Contamination
Model vN0005"  in the section of the release notes
"How CIAO4.2 and CALDB 4.2 Affect Your Analysis" at
as well as the memo on the update to the contamination model from the
CXC Calibration team at


Item 2.  S-LANG

The CXC is phasing out support for the S-Lang interface in CIAO
(including Sherpa and ChIPS).
Only the Python interface will be supported after CIAO 4.2.
This decision was made based on the results of the 2009 CIAO Software
Survey and on input from the Users Committee.

We are currently planning to stop distributing the slsh application and
the CIAO S-Lang modules as well.

slsh can be downloaded from http://www.jedsoft.org/slang/slsh.html
A variety of other CXC-developed and maintained S-Lang modules and analysis
packages will still be supported and can be obtained from

Please let us know via Helpdesk if this decision will badly affect your
ability to conduct Chandra data analysis.
New users of CIAO 4 should learn the Python syntax for ChIPS and Sherpa.
The CXC is committed to helping existing Sherpa and ChIPS S-Lang users transition to
Python; contact Helpdesk if you need assistance.


Item 3. SherpaCL

Versions 0.21 and 0.22 of the experimental sherpacl application that
allows  users to use CIAO 3.4 syntax for Sherpa and ChIPS commands in
CIAO 4 have been released.
These versions work with CIAO 4.2 (they will not work with earlier CIAO
releases). Several additions and enhancements have been made:

- the CONF command has been added as a replacement for PROJ (see 'AHELP
CONF' from within SherpaCL)

- the sherpa.conf.parallel and sherpa.proj.parallel fields can be set to
1 to run the error analysis in parallel
(the default is to use a serial approach, unlike Sherpa in CIAO 4.2).

- the 'SAVE ALL' command is now supported, but the output is in Python
syntax, not the SherpaCL language.

- the 'GROUP BY' command now supports the WIDTH and BINS options

- the syntax "gauss1d[foo](,2.3:0.1:10)" is now supported for setting
the parameter min/max ranges as well as the value.

Version 0.22 adds support for the following commands from CIAO 3.4:

The LABEL, TITLE, XLABEL, and YLABEL commands now support new options
for changing the angle, font, style, alignment and position of the text
(these are extensions to the CIAO 3.4 command set).

The SHOW command now supports the following options: BG, BACKGROUND,
See 'AHELP CHANGES' from within SherpaCL for further details.

Item 4. Mac OS X Power PC

CIAO 4.2 will be the *last *CIAO release with support for the Mac OS X
10.4 PPC .
We encourage users to acquire non-PPC systems.


Item 5.  Solaris support

We are evaluating support for Solaris in future CIAO releases.
Please let us know via Helpdesk if Solaris is still your only option for
your CIAO data analysis.


Item 6.  CIAO 3.4 and CALDB3.x

The CXC no longer supports CIAO 3.4 however the CIAO3.4 webpages will
stay on-line for the foreseeable future.
Similarly there will be no more updates for version 3.x of the CALDB:
CALDB3.5.5 is the last CALDB updated for CIAO3.4.
For example the new ACIS QE Contamination Model vN0005 is *not included*
in CALDB 3.x.
We encourage users to migrate to CIAO 4.2 and CALDB 4.x.
We also note that CALDB 4.x is *not compatible* with CIAO3.4

Antonella Fruscione for the CIAO Group


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Last modified: 12/03/10

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