In the past, data analysis systems for astrophysics space-based observatories have been custom built for each mission. This has resulted in a large variety of data systems that are difficult to maintain in the long term. However, once the telemetry has been decoded, the underlying functionality of these data systems is the same. The High Energy Science Archive Research Center and the Astro D Guest Observer Facility plan to isolate the data input/output from the data selection function by reformatting the telemetry data from past missions and from Astro D to FITS format files with no loss of information. Since FITS files are self- defining and now a standard in astronomy, the files will be accessible to a wide range of analysis systems with minimum documentation of the data structures. The FITS data will be accessed using a multimission "data selection" program to produce standard data products for further analysis using generic analysis tasks. A browse tool is described which will allow the seamless connection of selected data in the archive to the user's analysis programs. BROWSE will first be part of the HEASARC online service used to access data from the archive, but later it will be provided to astronomers to provide a local database environment from which they can can write scripts to select data and then pass them transparently to the their own analysis tasks.
Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems I
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