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XMM-Newton Current Calibration Files

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In order to analyze the data collected with XMM-Newton you need some calibration files (Current Calibration File, see below) and a copy of the Science Analysis System (SAS) available here. With the SAS tool cifbuild you must build the CCF Index File (see below).

From these pages you can download the calibration constituents required to analyze the data collected with XMM-Newton. In order to make use of the calibration constituents you will also need to download a copy of the Science Analysis System.

Updates to the calibration are described in the Release Notes for each individual calibration constituent.

For EPIC, a number of canned response and background data sets are available. Visit our Response & Background Page to learn how to use these files with the Science Analysis System.

The Current Calibration File

The Current Calibration File (CCF) is the collection of all the XMM-Newton calibration files ever made public. Contrary to other missions, the XMM-Newton calibration database is updated continuously and does not have a version number. Announcements of the updates are issued via the ccf mailing list.

Release Notes are available for all CCF constituents.

The CCF Index File

To analyze your data with the SAS you must build a CCF Index File, ie identify what calibration files are appropriate for the given observation and analysis dates.  This is done with the SAS tool cifbuild.

The indexing scheme used to build the CIF is described in the CCF Interface Control Document. (See the SOC Technical Documents archive.) If you have installed the SAS with its documentation, then you can read about the indexing scheme in the documentation of the task cifbuild. (Type: sashelp --doc=cifbuild.)

The Calibration Archive

All the XMM-Newton calibration files ever made public can be accessed from our server. Although you can copy the entire archive, in general there is no reason to do this. In fact there are now more than 900 CCF constituents on our server, and about 90 are needed to process the data. On these pages you can access the SAS task cifbuild to build an up-to-date CIF for the observation and analysis dates of your choice.

Updated (November 2006)
Many of the calibration files are kept in the archive only to be able to reproduce calibration conditions met in the past (SAS can reduce data as it would have been done with the calibration knowledge of years ago), since they have been superseded by more accurate calibration. They will never be used by a normal observer. We have produced a reduced repository for all those observers, who do not want to mirror the entire repository but only the relevant part for an up-to-date data reduction. All the calibration files from before January 2004, which have been superseded, are not present in this repository. The total archive has in November 2006 a volume of almost 50 GB, while the reduced repository less than 700 MB.

Mirroring the Calibration Archive

If you have decided that you wish to mirror either the entire Calibration Archive or the reduced one, there are a number of options. The one you choose depends on what software tools you have or are ready to install. Please note that we would recommend you use one of the following packages because they impose a reduced load on our server;
Also note that although rare, deletions from the archive are possible. Using rsync or mirror ensures that calibration files removed from our server will also be removed from your local disk, reducing the possibility that you use the wrong calibration files.

Using rsync

Assume that you want to store the calibration archive in the directory /ccf/. Then the commands to use are:
rsync -v -a --delete --delete-after --force --include='*.CCF' --exclude='*/' xmm.esac.esa.int::XMM_RED_CCF /ccf/
rsync -v -a --delete --delete-after --force --include='*.CCF' --exclude='*/' xmm.esac.esa.int::XMM_CCF /ccf/

depending if you intend to synchronize either the reduced or the full CCF archive.
The first time you may want to use the --dry-run option to see what the command would do.

Using mirror

You should make sure that the version of mirror you use has been updated with the patch mentioned in the Updates section. Our ftp server implements the ftp protocol strictly, and without the patch mirror will not work. By the way, we would gladly provide you with a patched version of mirror, but we are prevented from doing so by the software license.

Edit a mirror configuration file, ccf.mirror to contain the following:
  comment="The XMM-Newton reduced calibration archive"
or use instead:
  comment="The XMM-Newton calibration archive"
if you intend to mirror the whole archive.

Then run:

mirror ccf.mirror

The first time you may want to use the -n option to see what the command would do.

Using plain ftp

You can use any ftp client to reach our ftp server at ftp://xmm.esac.esa.int/pub/ccf/constituents.

Problems ?

Questions regarding the CCF should be addressed to the XMM-Newton Helpdesk.

XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 08-Apr-2014 by