Release Notes for Science Data Archive
User Interface (Version 1.6)
Release Date: Tuesday, 29 October 2002
The release of v1.6 of the Science Data Archive
(SDA) user interface (UI)
includes many new tools and functions that were originally designated for the
upcoming release of v2.0. Because these new tools significantly enhance the
navigation of the UI and access to
the data, we chose to release them now rather than wait for all the goals
for v2.0 to be completed. Described below are the hardware and software
requirements for v1.6, the basic functionality of v1.6, a summary of changes
since v1.0, the known limitations of v1.6, and the planned improvements for v2.0.
Hardware Requirements for UI v1.6
There are no specific hardware requirements for operating the
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.
Software Requirements for UI v1.6
The UI is a WWW-based interface
SDA database and image storage media (RAID). The
UI has been designed with strict adherence to the
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
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" subcategory.
Finally, a FITS image viewer must be installed to properly display
FITS images through the UI.
Such viewers include:
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.
Basic Functionality of UI Version 1.6
The UI has two basic functions:
- Search and retrieval of
and APSIS image products
- Search and analysis of objects listed in APSIS
Whereas both functions were performed via a common query form in v1.0, the search
and retrieval of images are now performed via a dynamically generated data inventory
page. Searches for detected objects are still performed through the 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
Image search and retrieval
The SDA stores selected images generated by
and APSIS. The
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
files must be retrieved through MAST.
The APSIS image products that are stored in the
- 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
- Images of background around detected objects
(from module filterCatalog via
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.
Object search and analysis
Objects in each GTO image are identified and characterized photometrically, astrometrically, morphologically,
and cosmologically by APSIS. The object catalogs
generated by APSIS
BPZ) are transformed into searchable database tables. Object
queries are formed by constraining selected parameters from each of these catalogs.
Version 1.6 of the UI 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 objects.
- Sorting output columns in ascending or descending order
- Downloadable tables in ASCII, CSV, TSV, HTML, and
Changes to UI Since v1.0
Features of v1.6 that alter the appearance or functionality of the UI since the last release include:
- The "Data Inventory" link has been moved to the command bar to reflect
its enhanced role as a launch pad for data set information and image file
retrieval. This move also adds distance between the "Start Over" and
- The "Search Type" option has been removed from the main query
form. The form now supports object queries only.
- Program and APSIS run summary pages have been added. These pages contain lists of all
and APSIS files, file pedigrees (graphical and textual), and
APSIS run and module information.
- Object summary pages have been added. These pages contain basic information
about the object as well as a full complement of cut-out images.
- Three-color object maps of the APSIS detection
images have been added. These maps include optional
object links, and zoom. Useful for finding charts.
- Cut-out filter images are now ordered by increasing wavelength. Detection
image cut-outs are now in color.
- All UI operations and queries
now appear as URLs, which may be bookmarked for future use.
- The links to the set numbers in the query results have been changed
from file pedigrees to set summary pages.
- The links to the object numbers in the query results have been changed from
cut-out images of the associated objects to object summary pages.
- SExtractor parameters
X_WORLD, Y_WORLD, A_WORLD, B_WORLD, THETA_WORLD,
MAG_AUTO, and MAGERR_AUTO have been added to the list of detection catalog output
- Output of
image header keywords and APSIS alignment
parameters is suspended pending linkage of calibrated image and object tables.
- Query results may now be downloaded in tab-separated-variable (TSV) format for
compatibility with SkyCat.
- The "Show SQL" function has been moved from the "Output Parameters" tab to the
- The "Reorder results" function has been removed from the query results page.
Results may be reordered by clicking on the column names and toggling the
up/down (ascending/descending) arrows.
- The inactive "FAQ" and "User Preferences" links have been removed from the
- The inactive "Recent and Saved Queries" tab has been removed.
Limitations of Version 1.6
Because v1.6 is a preview of the larger v2.0 release, it lacks some important
functionality requested by the GTO team at the Summer 2002 meeting in Wyoming.
Limitations of this release include:
- Color constraints on catalog queries have not yet been implemented.
- Magnitude constraints on catalog queries are limited to single filters or are uniformly applied to all filters.
- Graphical representation of catalog parameters has not yet been implemented.
header keywords have not yet been implemented as object catalog constraints.
- Multiple image file downloads have not yet been implemented.
Improvements for Version 2.0
Planned improvements for v2.0 include, but are not limited to:
- Object queries constrained by multiple magnitudes and colors
- Object queries constrained by CALACS header keywords
- Two-parameter plots and histograms of catalog parameters
- Color-magnitude and color-color plots of calibrated photometry
- Multiple image file downloads
Previous UI Release Notes
Inquiries may be directed to: