Release Notes for Science Data Archive
User Interface (Version 1.10)
Release Date: Thursday, 26 June 2003
Version 1.10 of the Science Data
Archive (SDA) user
interface (UI) implements several enhancements made since the
release of Version 1.8.2 on 9 April 2003. Chief among these
enhancements is the long-awaited capability to constrain queries
of the object catalogs by multiple magnitudes and colors. A complete
list of enhancements are described in Changes
since v1.8.2. Also described below are the hardware
and software requirements for v1.10, the basic functionality of
v1.10, summaries of changes since v1.10, the known bugs
and limitations of v1.10, and the planned improvements for the
future UI releases.
There are no specific hardware requirements for operating the UI. Any computer that
accommodates efficient WWW browsing will be sufficient for basic UI functionality.
However, computers should have sufficient memory and processing
speed to display and manipulate drizzled WFC images, which can be
as large as 250 MB.
The UI is a
WWW-based interface to the SDA
database and image storage media (RAID). The UI has been designed with
bindings) standards, so it will perform well with any WWW
browser that fully supports these standards. The recommended
browsers for the UI are:
Netscape 4.7x (for any platform) and Internet Explorer 5.x
(for Windows and Unix) do not properly execute the UI and are therefore not
supported by the ACS archive group.
Proper use of the UI requires the following
browser options be set:
- Permission to open new windows must be granted
These options are default settings on most browsers. For Mozilla
and Netscape, they are changed via the "Edit Preferences" menu
option --> "Advanced" category --> "Scripts and Windows"
Finally, a FITS image
viewer must be installed to properly display FITS images through the UI. Such viewers
To enable your browser to spawn the FITS viewer, edit your browser
preferences to include a MIME type of "image/x-fits" for extension
"fits " and the correct path to the executable for the FITS viewer.
The UI has two
- Search and retrieval of
CALACS and APSIS image
- Search and analysis of objects listed in APSIS catalogs
The search and retrieval of images are performed via a
dynamically generated data inventory page. Searches for detected
objects are performed through the catalog query form. This form has a
tabbed format, meaning that the basic steps of a query (defining
search criteria, selecting output fields, and viewing results) are
accessed through a tabbed menu.
The SDA stores selected images
CALACS and APSIS. The
CALACS images are produced by on-the-fly calibration through MAST. Only the calibrated FLT
and CRJ files, which are the input products of APSIS, are stored in the SDA. All other
CALACS files must be retrieved through MAST. The APSIS image products that are stored in
the SDA are:
- Drizzled and combined images (science, wieight, RMS, and
context) for each filter (from module combDither)
- Combined filter images (science and weight) for object
detection (from module combFilter)
- Segmentation images identifying detected objects (from module
detectionCatalog via SExtractor)
- Images of background around detected objects (from module
filterCatalog via SExtractor)
CALACS and APSIS images can be
downloaded through the UI's data inventory and/or
displayed with standard FITS image viewers spawned by the
WWW browser. The detection images generated by APSIS can be viewed as color PNG files
through set summary pages linked to the data inventory. The
ancestors and descendents of each archived image can be traced,
thereby providing the user a pedigree of every archived APSIS run.
Objects in each GTO image are identified and characterized
photometrically, astrometrically, morphologically, and
cosmologically by APSIS. The
object catalogs generated by APSIS
(detection, filter, photometry, and BPZ) are transformed into searchable
database tables. Object queries are formed by constraining selected
parameters from each of these catalogs.
Version 1.10 offers several tools for inspecting and analyzing
the results of object queries:
- Summary pages containing basic information and cut-out (or
"postage-stamp") images of each object
- Collective displays of cut-out images of many detected
- Sorting output columns in ascending or descending order
- Downloadable tables in ASCII, CSV, TSV, HTML, and XML formats
The following enhancements and bug fixes have been implemented
- Queries of the object Photometry Catalog may now be constrained by filter magnitudes and colors. The
filters and colors are defined by the FILTER_OR_COLOR parameter in the Photometry Catalog category of the
Input tab. This parameter supercedes the FILTER_NAME parameter from previous UI releases. The filter
magnitudes are identified by single-filter names (e.g., F775W), and color constraints are identified
by the differences of two filter names (e.g., F775W-F850LP). The value of either constraint is
defined by the MAGNITUDE parameter. Only extinction-corrected magnitudes are used in color-constrained
- The limit of only one filter constraint per query has been removed; queries can now be constrained by
any number of filter magnitudes and/or colors. However, filter and color constraints must be defined in
separate category boxes within the input tab and linked with a logical operator ("and", "or"). Note that the
constraints within each category box are executed initially and independently, and then the category boxes
are logically analyzed from top to bottom. (User-defined hierarchical grouping of category boxes is planned,
but not yet implemented.)
- When a magnitude and/or color constraint is imposed on a catalog query, the results now show all the
magnitude and/or color information available for the archive set(s) under examination. (All colors are
returned by default whenever a color-constrained query is submitted. Magnitudes remain a user-selected
output parameter.) Previously, only the magnitudes pertaining to the defined constraint were displayed.
- The format of the tables in the query results tab has been modified so that the number of output
records equals the number of objects returned by the query. Filter-independent object parameters are
displayed once within each output record, and filter-dependent parameters are displayed in multiple rows (one
per filter) within each record. This new format eliminates the confusion between numbers of
returned objects and records, eliminates redundant display of data common to all filters, and
is easier on the eye. Note, however, that the tables downloaded in ASCII, TSV, and CSV formats are
unchanged from their previous machine-readable formats.
- Examples of different object-catalog queries have been compiled. They are accessible via the "Query
Examples" link in the upper right corner of the UI masthead.
- The Data Inventory now lists separately the information for each APSIS
run associated with a given program
and target. The SET_IDs and processing dates for each APSIS
set are now shown on separate lines in the last
two columns of the Data Inventory.
- The pipeline information for archive sets has been moved from the bottom to the top of the Set
- A mismatch between the sizes of zoomed image cutouts and overlayed Kron apertures has been fixed.
- A one-pixel mismatch between the SExtractor coordinates of detected objects and the centers of their
corresponding image cutouts has been fixed.
- A bug in the PHP array_reduce function occasionally causes a
failure of the Program Summary page. This bug has been reported to
the developers of PHP.
- The region box within the Object Map control panel cannot be
dragged by the pointer in the Internet Explorer 6.0 browser. The
box can be repositioned by pointing and clicking within the control
panel or by entering the x and y coordinates of the center of the
- The filter-to-RGB selection boxes do not initially appear in
the Object Map control panel when clicking the "Show filters" function
from the Internet Explorer 6.0 browser. This problem appears to be
an IE6.0 bug, and a workaround is being developed. Fortunately, the
selection boxes do appear if the red box in the finder image is repositioned,
or if the "Hide/Show Controls" link below the title banner is toggled.
Version 1.10 of the UI contains most of the functionality and features
requested by the GTO team at the onset of development and then confirmed at
the Summer 2002 meeting in Wyoming. The few required features not yet
- Graphical representation of catalog parameters has not yet been
CALACS header keywords have not yet been implemented as object
- Multiple image file downloads have not yet been
Color-constrained queries are presently limited to extinction-corrected magnitudes. Queries
constrained by uncorrected magnitudes or magnitude uncertainties (either corrected or uncorrected)
have not yet been implemented.
Colors of catalogued objects are displayed in the query results only when the query is constrained by
color. Under such circumstances, the objects' colors are displayed automatically. Colors
are not yet included in the list of optional output parameters from the Photometry Catalog.
Version 1.10 processes SDA queries in a linear
fashion with remedial hierarchical grouping. These limitations should not handicap simple queries, but
more flexibility is needed to enable more complicated ones. Consult the
Query Examples page for advice
on how to construct queries within the current logic and grouping limitations of the UI.
Planned improvements for future releases of the UI include,
but are not limited to:
- Object queries constrained by
CALACS header keywords
- User-defined hierarchical grouping of query constraints
- Ability to perform arithmetic operations on query input parameters
- Two-parameter plots and histograms of catalog parameters
- Color-magnitude and color-color plots of calibrated
- Multiple image file downloads
Inquiries may be directed to: