A guided tour of the ISO Data Archive

This walkthrough is meant to guide observers new to the ISO Data Archive.

1. Starting the ISO Data Archive.

From the ISO homepage (http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/iso) click on the `Access the Archive' link in the `ISO Data Archive' section. From there click on the `Start the ISO Data Archive (IDA) interface' button. A new browser window will appear to call the IDA applet. Starting may take up to a few minutes, depending on the speed of the links, the speed of your computer etc. If you have any problems starting the archive, please click on the `Other options' section for help.

2. Help! Where to go from here

General help is accessible from the top-right menu. In addition, any box that lights up when your mouse goes over it can be clicked on to give help. Any box in white is where you can enter text or numbers (except for the top two very long ones). Any box in grey is a selection box - clicking on it changes your observation selection. The archive is further described in the ISO Handbook Volume 1.

3. Logging in

If you want to retrieve data, you need to login. If you are a new user you have to register. To do this just click on the `Login/Register' button.

Please enter your username giving your initial followed by your lastname. Note that only the first eight characters are recognized, the case its only important when entering the password.

If you have already registered then enter your username and password. You can then either press return or click on the button `Login & Proceed' to go back to the screen you came from, or on `Login & stay here' to remain on this page to change your details/password.

When you press `Login & Proceed' you will get a confirmation of successful login (or warning of failure) and have to dismiss this. If you haven't registered you must do so via the `Register As New User' button. This takes you to a screen where you may enter your details. Conformation of registration will be by e-mail, so you must ensure your e-mail address is correct. If you make a mistake when entering anything you can press the clear button at the bottom, or if you want to exit this screen without doing anything click on `Cancel'.

4. Searching data

You should now be on the `Query Specification' screen and can now search for any observation you wish. For example, let's search for all observations of M51. If you click in the white box to the right of name you can enter the name `M51'. Clicking on the button at the top left marked `Execute Query' starts the search. The small blue box near the top should start to move and the text next to it change from `Idle' to `Conducting Query' to `Generating List of Entries'.

What happens now is that your applet will attempt to contact Simbad to find out the position of the object called `M51'. When it gets these coordinates it searches the ISO database for all observations around them, to a radius defined in the radius box (by default 5 arcmin). By now you should be in the results screen with the first 25 of the 36 M51 observations listed. You can use the `Start of list', `Previous', `Next' and `End of list' buttons at the bottom to navigate through all 36 observations. Navigate to the 26 observation, an SWS 01 observation by `DGARNETT'. The little box to the right of the screen (called an `ICON' in archive terminology) will show the results of the SWS01 observation. You can click on this to get a larger view, called a `postcard'. You can directly view the so called 'Survey Product' for this observation by clicking on the 'View Fits File' button, this will launch a FITS viewer where you can manipulate the spectra. Dismiss the postcard. If you want to go and start another selection click on the `Query Specification' button at the top left.

To search using NED instead of SIMBAD then just click on the SIMBAD button to change it. If you want to search by what the user entered as a target name then select `Given by Proposer'. Note that in this case the wildcard is the `%' sign, so to search for mars you might enter `%mars%' (this will find the 32 mars observations).  There is a direct way for searching Solar System Objects observations, by selecting "Search Target By - Type".

A number of panels below allow to query the archive on parameters from the observation proposal, timing constraints, instruments details, pointing modes, target lists, Highly Processed Data Products data and catalogues.

5. Selecting data and moving it to the shopping basket

To select data just click on the little square to the left of the text information on the observation, next to the `more' button. Lets try to select the SWS 01 observation of `DGARNETT'. Go to the screen with it on (explained in point 4), click on the little square and then click on `Move selected to basket'. The observation will disappear from the results screen. To see what's in your shopping basket, click in button at the top of the screen marked `Shopping basket'. You will see the text there turn from faint to dark grey and the text in the `Latest Results' button turn faint. To move between the shopping basket and results screen click on those two buttons - a blue box just below the ISO Data Archive note tells you where you are. Users may get confused which of these two screen they are on so be careful. You can delete observations from the shopping basket by clicking on the little box to the left of them and then clicking in the `Delete selected' box in the upper right. If you want to request ALL the observations that your query produced you can click on the 'Move All to Basket' button, this will move all the observations into the Shopping Basket and it will also take you to the Shopping Basket so that you can make the request straight away.

6. Selecting the products

When you are happy with the objects in the shopping basket you can choose with the menu next to the label 'Product desired' the data products you want, there are different levels:
        -BASIC SCIENCE: Data processed to a level it is considered to be the 
best starting point for data reduction in a general case.

        -FULLY_PROCESSED: data are in the form of final products, but they 
have been processed automatically beyond the level where astronomers judgement 
would have been needed.  

        -QUICK_LOOK: Products are derived from the fully processed data. For PHT
and CAM they are graphical presentations and simple FITS files from
fully processed data. For LWS and SWS additional automatic processing
steps have been done.

        -RAW_DATA: contains the lowest level data products which have typically
instrumental units for the data values.
        -HPDP: the "Highly Processed Data Products", products reduced `by hand',
as well as catalogues and atlases.
See the specific help sections for more information.
The ALL level will just give you all the files available for every observation, you can also set different product levels for every observation in your Shopping basket if you select the option 'PER OBSERVATION'. You can also go down to specify the individual files desired selecting the 'CUSTOM' option and then define the files by clicking on the 'Define Custom' button, a new panel with all the files used for every instrument will appear, select the files you want and click on every instrument 'Done' button, finally click the 'OK' button.

7. Retrieving data

When you are happy with the objects in the shopping basket you can retrieve them by clicking on the `Submit Request' button. You will go to a confirmation page where the archive will tell you how many observations you've selected, how many MBytes this corresponds to and the estimated download by ftp time. You can select four compression option to reduce this time. Press the `Confirm' key at the bottom. The applet will then give you a confirmation number and start to extract the data. When it has finished it will send you a mail message telling you where to get the data from. To leave this screen press `dismiss'.  You can monitor the status of your request if you click on the 'Request Monitor' button at the top right, this will pop up a new window where you can see the status of your request and an estimation of the time needed for completion.

If you are interested about single observations, a direct retrieval to your disk is possible, by using the "Retrieve" menu at the left of each observation section.

8. Exiting

Just click on the `File' button at the top left of the applet and select `Exit'. Note that when you exit all selections will be lost. It may be advisable to keep the applet available, but minimised.

9. Additional Information about ISO data

Note that all ISO observations will have been examined by the proposer for their original purpose. In this examination the observer may have discovered characteristics of the data which are not described in the archive. Therefore we recommend the archive user to contact the original proposer for any additional information before using the data for scientific purposes. In case you don't know the contact address, please contact the ISO Helpdesk.