XMM-Newton-NEWS  #180,    05-Feb-2016

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre,
P.O. Box - Apdo. 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain

SOC Home Page: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/
Helpdesk web interface: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/xmm-newton-helpdesk
Helpdesk email address: xmmhelp@sciops.esa.int
News Mailing List: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton/newsletter


  • Version 15.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released
  • Distribution of 32-bit versions of SAS to be discontinued

Version 15.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The XMM-Newton SAS team is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the SAS: SAS v15.0.

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux and MacOs (in 64-bit native versions) and one Linux 32-bit version are available at


The main improvements of this release can be summarised as follows:

  • Correction of the conversion between celestial and detector coordinate systems.

    Due to a long-standing error in the task attcalc, the Euler Psi angle contained within the boresight calibration file had the wrong sign. In practically all cases the two errors cancelled out yielding a correct astrometry reconstruction within SAS. However, direct use of the boresight numbers resulted in wrong conversions. This upgrade requires a new calibration file, XMM_BORESIGHT_0026.CCF.

  • The new task ebkgreg determines the most suitable position of the background region for any source in an EPIC-pn image.

  • The new task eupper calculates, given a position in celestial coordinates, the count rate upper limit for any sky image regardless of the instrument.

  • eboxdetect, the task for slide box source detection, accepts input data in detector coordinates.

  • The metatask for slew data analysis eslewchain can produce PNG files for each subimage.

  • RGS responses can be derived by rgsrmfgen in separated files: a redistribution matrix (RMF) and a corresponding Ancillary Response File (ARF).

For further details please visit the SAS pages:


Distribution of 32-bit versions of SAS to be discontinued

Differently from previous releases of SAS, this time only one 32-bit version is distributed.

As announced in a previous issue of this Newsletter ( #158)


the distribution of SAS in 32-bit binary versions will probably be discontinued in all future releases.

Yours sincerely,
XMM-Newton SOC