S8 Swift Mission Overview

Swift Mission Overview - Neil Gehrels

Software Requirement

A. HEASOFT (v 6.10)

To be able to use my xspec local model in the GRB prompt emission spectral analysis, installing HEASOFT from the source code is required.

1. Go to:


2. Check "Source code distribution" of STEP 1.

3. Check your appropriate platform.

3. In STEP2, check "Swift" for Mission-Specific Tools.

4. Click "Submit."

5. Save the download file (heasoft-6.10src.tar.gz) to your PC.

6. Follow the instruction to install HEASOFT from the source code.


Here is my installation note of HEASOFT 6.10 from the source code in my Mac (Mac OS X 10.6.4)

taka> mv ~/Downloads/heasoft-6.10src.tar.gz ~/heasoft/
taka> cd ~/heasoft/
taka> gtar zxvf heasoft-6.10src.tar.gz
taka> cd heasoft-6.10/BUILD_DIR/
taka> ./configure >& config.out
taka> make >& build.log
taka> make install >& install.log

7. Setup

Put following lines in your .cshrc (if you are csh) to setup HEASOFT (my example below). Note HEADAS
environment depends on your PC or platform (see HEASOFT installation document for details).

setenv HEADAS /Volumes/Apps_and_Docs/takanori/heasoft/heasoft-6.9/i386-apple-darwin10.4.0
source $HEADAS/headas-init.csh


You can find the instruction to install CALDB from:


Here is my step by step instruction (what I did in my Mac).

1. Download the Swift caldb files (BAT, XRT, UVOT and Swift Common) from:


Click "Retrieve TAR file" for each panel (BAT, XRT, UVOT and Swift Common). You
should have four tar files.

taka> ls -1

2. Untar CALDB files

taka> gtar zxvf goodfiles_swift_bat.tar.Z
taka> gtar zxvf goodfiles_swift_mis.tar.Z
taka> gtar zxvf goodfiles_swift_uvota.tar.Z
taka> gtar zxvf goodfiles_swift_xrt.tar.Z

3. wget CALDB setup file (caldb_setup_files.tar.Z) and untar the file.

taka> wget http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/FTP/caldb/software/tools/caldb_setup_files.tar.Z
taka> gtar zxvf caldb_setup_files.tar.Z

4. Remove all tar files.

taka> rm *tar.Z

5. Setup CALDB enviroment

The directory where you untar swift CALDB files and the setup file is your CALDB
directory. You need to setup CALDB environment to point this directory. In my case,

taka> pwd
taka> /Volumes/Apps_and_Docs/takanori/heasoft/caldb

So, my CALDB should point this directory. To avoid the confusion, you need to comment
out the top line of ./software/tools/caldbinit.csh file (CALDB initialization file). Chance from

setenv CALDB /FTP/caldb


#setenv CALDB /FTP/caldb

(just add "#" mark at the front of the line)

And in your .cshrc, add following two lines.

setenv CALDB /Volumes/Apps_and_Docs/takanori/heasoft/caldb
source $CALDB/software/tools/caldbinit.csh

6. Check

Run caldbinfo command to check whether your are successfully install CALDB or not.

taka> caldbinfo INST SWIFT BAT
** caldbinfo 1.0.2
… Local CALDB appears to be set-up & accessible
** caldbinfo 1.0.2 completed successfully

If you see "ERROR" messages, you still have a problem in installing CALDB.
Check the error messages.

C. Xspec local model install and setup

1. Download the xspec local model source code from


2. Move the tar file to specific directory and untar it. In my case, I create a new directory called xspec_lmodel
under ~/heasoft/ and put the file there.

taka> cd ~/heasoft
taka> mkdir xspec_lmodel
taka> cd xspec_lmodel
taka> mv ~/Downloads/ngrbep_xspec_lmodel.tar .
taka> gtar xvf ngrbep_xspec_lmodel.tar

3. run xspec

taka> xspec
XSPEC version: 12.6.0
Build Date/Time: Tue Sep 14 11:42:13 2010

4. run initpackage command. The first argument is the name of the local model package which you can
call whatever you want (but you have to know this name when you load the local model when you using
the local model). The 2nd argument is the model description file which should be lmodel.dat. The 3rd
argument is the directory pass where you have the xspec local model which ~/heasoft/xspec_lmodel in
my case.

XSPEC12> initpackage grbep lmodel.dat ~/heasoft/xspec_lmodel

Local model library has been built from model definition and code files in:

5. Load the local model package. In xspec, use lmod command to load the xspec local model package
which you installed by initpackage command. The first argument is the package name. In the above
example, it is "grbep." The 2nd argument is the directory where you installed the xspec local model.
In the above example, it is ~/heasoft/xspec_lmodel.

XSPEC12> lmod grbep ~/heasoft/xspec_lmodel
Model package grbep successfully loaded.

When you see "Model package grbep successfully loaded." You are ready to use.

6. Check

Check whether you see "ngrbep" entry in xspec model list by typing "model ?" in xspec. You should see a new entry "ngrbep*" (star at the end) which is the local model.

Let's make sure the local model works. Let's use this model by typing "model ngrbep" in xspec. If you don't see any error message, you should be ready to go.

D. ds9


E. WCSTools (specifically for UVOT data analysis)


Data preparation

GRB samples for the workship: GRB 090510 and GRB 100906A

1. Go to Swift Browse interface


Note: for a GRB with less the 7 day old, the data are stored in the Swift SDC QL
site (http://swift.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/sdc/ql?)

2. From the top of scrolling bar (see below image), select the burst. For example, in the case of
GRB 090510, it happened on May 10, 2009. Scroll "Display Bursts by Year" to
2009. Next, scroll "Display By Month" to May. Finally, scroll "Select Burst 2009 May"
to GRB 090510. Then, you will see "Target id" field filled with number "351588" which
is equivalent to the BAT trigger ID of this burst.


3. Click "Start Search" button.

4. Now you are in "Search Results" page. In case of GRB 090510, you will see
two rows entry. They are 00351588000 and 00351588001 in obsid column.
Those numbers are what we called "observation ID." For GRBs, it is composed:

00 (BAT trigger ID; 6 digits) (segment ID; 3 digits)

The last three digits, segment ID, will be started from 000, and be incremented
whenever Swift does the followup observation of the burst.

For the BAT data, all the prompt emission data will be stored in segment 000.
For the XRT and UVOT, we need all the segment data to look for the late time
afterglow data.

5. Check box called "Select All" at the left side of the list. Then, scroll down the
page and click "Retrieve" button.

6. It will open a new window in your browser. Just click the link looks like:


It will download the data (w3browse-164452.tar).

7. Final step is to untar the data.

taka>tar xvf w3browse-164452.tar

8. You should see directories which are labeled with obsid.

00351588000 00351588001