XMM-Newton SAS Team releases version 8.0

The XMM-Newton SAS team is very pleased to announce the release of a new version of the SAS: SAS 8.0

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux, Solaris and MacOs are available, a virtual machine running on Microsoft Windows allowing to run SAS 8.0 will follow shortly.

The main improvements in this version with respect to the former version, SAS 7.1.0, are:

  • slew data analysis fully integrated in SAS: new task eslewchain, performing data reduction and source detection of slew data;
  • new EPIC light curve background subtraction and exposure correction task, epiclccorr, valid both for PN and MOS in all user available modes;
  • RGS alternative analysis based on a wavelength grid, offered in this version as non default, making possible the absolute alignment of spectra from different RGSs, orders and observations, (word of caution here: tasks dealing with combination of several spectra, like rgsfluxer and rgscombine need still some upgrading for working always with wavelength grid obtained spectra);
  • changes for enabling processing of mosaicing observations;
  • refined OM astrometry, improved OM source detection and flagging, all changes needed for the OM sources catalogue production;
  • new algorithm for better detection and correction of PN time jumps;
  • implemented (including possibility of user defined SAS_JUMP_THRESHOLD environment variable);
  • event times in EPIC-PN imaging modes by default randomized within the frame duration, to avoid aliasing effects in light curves;
  • OM mosaicing of imaging data substantially improved by using the astrometric correction of the single images;
  • improved OM grism performance for crowded fields;
  • OM FAST mode images analysis introducing detection of possible modulo-8 and coincidence loss corruption.

Also a number of improvements in the calibration areas of the different instruments, as follows:


  • new task epfast, for column and rate dependent CTI + gain correction on PN fast modes,
  • 2-dimensional elliptical PSF inclusion for a more accurate correction of integrated encircled energy off-axis (maintained as non-default until calibration finished),
  • PN temperature dependent gain correction performed by default (was already switched on in patched version 7.1.2)


  • use of CCF for computing time-dependent photocathode sensitivity correction factors makes possible their update at any time (actual CCF is OM_PHOTONNAT_0004.CCF)

And, as always, many other less important improvements and bug fixes have taken place. 55 tasks have been upgraded all in all, with a total number of sub-version changes of 152.
With this release we also took the opportunity of upgrading the SAS webpages following to a large extent recommendations from the XMM-Newton Users Support Group.

For further details on obtaining SAS 8.0 please visit our SAS Pages