Package for Interactive Analysis of Line Emission

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PINTofALE was originally developed to analyze spectroscopic data from optically-thin coronal plasmas, though much of the software is sufficiently general to be of use in a much wider range of astrophysical data analyses. It is based on a modular set of IDL tools that interact with an atomic database and with observational data. The tools are designed to allow easy identification of spectral features, measure line fluxes, and carry out detailed modeling. The basic philosophy of the package is to provide access to the innards of atomic line databases, and to have flexible tools to interactively compare with the observed data. It is motivated by the large amount of book-keeping, computation and iterative interaction that is required between the researcher and observational and theoretical data in order to derive astrophysical results. The tools link together transparently and automatically the processes of spectral ``browsing'', feature identification, measurement, and computation and derivation of results. Unlike standard modeling and fitting engines currently in use, PINTofALE opens up the ``black box'' of atomic data required for UV/X-ray analyses and allows the user full control over the data that are used in any given analysis.

There are 4 basic components to the system: routines (1) to handle externally compiled atomic databases such as CHIANTI, SPEX, and APED; (2) to quickly access the database of lines, continua, and ion balance compiled from the external databases; (3) to carry out various analysis tasks such as flux measurement, feature identification, emission measure estimation, DEM reconstruction, density estimation, etc; and (4) general utility procedures that codify many useful analysis tasks. This structure is illustrated below: atomic data from external compilations are recast into a uniform format, which are then read into the IDL environment and manipulated conditional on source parameters and observational data. The diagram is intended to represent the interactive and iterative nature of this process. (Here's a more detailed view.)

Flow Chart


Please note that the CHIANTI, SPEX, and APEC projects are not responsible for any problems and errors arising from their use in PINTofALE.
The CHIANTI database for astrophysical emission line spectroscopy may be obtained from: (within SolarSoft)
The IDL-ASTRO library is available from:
The ROSATLib package is available at:



To refer to PINTofALE, please use:
Kashyap, V. \& Drake, J.J., 2000, BASI, 28, 475


This release was made possible through a grant from the NASA Applied Information Systems Research Program. We express warm thanks to Rebecca McMullen, Olivia Johnson, and Antonio Maggio for many helpful comments during development, and to Pete Ratzlaff, Miriam Krauss, and Dan Dewey for testing out the software and finding bugs. PINTofALE was largely developed in our "spare" time; JJD was also supported by NASA contract NAS8-39073 to the Chandra X-ray Center, and VLK acknowledges support from NASA grants NAG5-3173, NAG5-6775, NAG5-3831, NAG5-3196, NAG5-7226 and NAG5-3195.

Jeremy J. Drake
Vinay L. Kashyap