XMM-Newton-NEWS  #192,    17-Jan-2017

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  • Version 16.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released
  • Data Analysis Threads for SAS v16.0.

Version 16.0 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 v16.0.

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux and Mac OS X (in 64-bit native versions) are available at


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

  • SAS v16.0 has been compiled with the GNU C/C++ compiler collection GCC 6.2.0, including gfortran 6.2, used for compilation of the SAS fortran code instead of the NAG fortran compiler.
  • The new task evqpb creates for any EPIC Full Frame exposure an event list with the associated quiescent particle background extracted from the Filter Wheel Closed data. This instrumental background can be used to correct spectra or images.
  • The new metatask edetect_stack performs standardized EPIC source detection on overlapping fields of different observations. It is still in experimental stage, but it is expected to be the basis for a future catalogue of stacked observations.
  • The new task implotregions (for SOC only) produces EPIC thumbnail images showing selected source and background extraction regions.
  • The new task rgsimageforbadpixfind is ancillary to the implementation of an alternative for RGS hot column finding using the MOS task embadpixfind. This method is recommended in case of very bright emission lines whose profile might be distorted due to the false detection of a hot column.
  • The task epxrlcorr, that performs corrections related to EPIC X-ray loading, has been upgraded to provide optionally diagnostic images that can be used to decide if an observation is affected by X-ray loading.
  • The task ebkgreg, that determines the most suitable position of the region for background correction of a source in an EPIC image, works now also with MOS data.
  • The task rgsrmfgen offers an optional effective area correction, aiming to improve the cross calibration between RGS1 and RGS2, first and second order.
  • The Slew Data reduction metatask eslewchain includes now source detection.

This version of SAS is released in two 64-bit binary versions for Linux (RHEL 6.8 and Ubuntu 16), and two for Mac OS X (Yosemite and El Capitan). The versions released have been tested to run correctly on several other platforms. Libraries are provided where necessary together with the distribution.

As already announced, no 32-bit binary versions are released anymore.

Data Analysis Threads for SAS v16.0

SAS analysis threads have been revised to ensure compatibility with the recently released SAS v16.0. They are available at



Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC