Imperial College London



QSAS: Science Analysis Software for Space Plasmas


QSAS current version is 3.0.1

Macintosh users will need to install QT 4.5 (or later, currently QT4.8 is stable and recommended).

QSAS version 3.0.1

Updates at earlier releases are available in the version history.

This is a new branch of QSAS as it begins the move to a new object handling kernel (DVOS). This is faster than the old kernel (QDOS), will be easier to maintain in the community and is simpler to code against for plugin writing. See DvObjectClass.html for documentation.

Apart from speed enhancements it handles all metadata actions and join intrinsically.

The migration also involves progressively moving to xml savesets. If you have an old saveset (.qss folder) that does not open under the latest release you will need to open it in version QSAS_2_4_12 and re-save (this will convert binary save files to xml). See QSAS 2_4 below.

QSAS is a software package which provides a flexible, extendable environment for the selection, manipulation, and display of space physics data. QSAS is written in C/C++ and is compiled using the gnu compiler set, and makes use of several elements of third-party software, including Qt (http://qt-project.org/downloads), cdf (http://cdf.gsfc.nasa.gov/) and PLplot (http://plplot.sourceforge.net/).

Currently available for Linux, Mac OSX  and Windows (XP and Vista).
 


Finding out about QSAS

Other specifications can be found within the various items supplied with QSAS.


Obtaining QSAS

Please email CSC Support each time you download a qsas distribution, stating which version, so that we can keep users informed of changes and monitor levels of interest. QSAS is provided free under GPL public licence, see licence file.

Linux users should download the source distribution that builds itself using a build script. Edit the script to give the location of the QSAS distribution after download and the target directory for installing QSAS into along with QT, and CDF installations on your platform, then type './build qsas' in the bin directory of the distribution:

QSASlinux.tar.gz


A Linux Binary
version is also available for 32bit architectures. This version should not be used if local plugins are to be built. After downloading and moving to its destination, cd to the bin directory inside the distribution and type 'setupQSAS' in order to configure the QSAS script:

QSASlinux_bin32.tar.gz




Mac OSX users should download the appropriate disk image.

These require Xcode (from the MacOS install disc or free from the Mac App Store, https://developer.apple.com/xcode) and QT4.8 or later (QT5 is also supported) to be installed, and this is available as a universal binary from...

http://qt-project.org/downloads

Double click the QT package and follow the installer instructions.

Launch QSAS on the Mac by double clicking on the QSAS icon /Applications/QSAS_3_0/QSAS

Windows users should download one of the following archives:

After unzipping, a QSAS folder will be created. If you place the QSAS directory in C:\Program Files, it is ready to use.

Otherwise, you must edit the QSAS/bin/QSAS.bat with a text editor and adapt the path in the first line of the file.

Start QSAS by double-clicking QSAS.bat. You can also make shortcuts to this launcher.

On platforms where it does not run out of the box, it is possible to build from source. In which case it will also be necessary to install Qt version 4.5 or higher (currently QT4.8 is recommended) together with msys (part of the MinGW package) and NASA's CDF libraries, available from:


Qt (http://qt-project.org/downloads), cdf (http://cdf.gsfc.nasa.gov/), MinGW (http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw/)


Documentation


Older Versions of QSAS 2_4  are available and can be used for converting savesets.

Older Versions of QSAS 2_3  are available, but are no longer supported.



Sample Data Files

The QSAS distribution contains some example data from Cluster Summary parameters as well as a sample session.

As well as Cluster Exchange Format (.cef) and NASA Common Data Format (.cdf) files, QSAS is able to read many ascii data files in either tabular or delimited syntax. These ascii files will need headers (either as detached (.qfh) headers or pasted onto the front of the data file itself. To help with the construction of suitable headers, some samples for different data sets are included with the distribution and are also available below, and collectively as a gzipped tar file.

Description
With a few data records
Header only
NASA Omni High Resolution files with syntax omni_hr_format.txt omni_hr.qft omni_hr.qfh
Cluster vector and scalar variable examples in tabular (.qft) syntax CL_SP_FGM_20020328_V01.qft

Cluster vector and scalar variable examples in Cluster Exchange (.cef )syntax CL_SP_FGM_20020328_V01.cef

Cluster vector and scalar variable examples in delimited (.qfd) syntax CL_SP_FGM_20020328_V01.qfd

Cassini data in Cluster Exchange (.cef) syntax
Test_Cassini.cef

Time Interval as a non-record varying variable (with tabular .qft extension)
SampleTI.qft

Event List (list of time intervals) in delimited format
SampleEvents.qfd
SampleEvents.qfh
Event List as XML VOTable file
SampleEvents.xml

 


Plug-in Libraries

Plug-ins written by the QSAS team are distributed with the QSAS tar files, and install automatically at QSAS installation.
Many of the ISSI plugins are also distributed with QSAS precompiled.

Other QSAS plug-ins are also available from ISSI and MPE


Providing Feedback on QSAS

QSAS is built around the prototyping methodology, and continual improvement and enhancement is central to its development. Some enhancements will come via user-written modules which are incorporated via the QSAS plugin interface. The development team welcomes comments, reports of anomolous behaviour, and suggestions which should be sent to: csc-support-dl@imperial.ac.uk.

When submitting a report, please try to be as complete and specific as possible. If reporting a bug it can prove useful if you are able to identify a reproducable sequence of events and a specific data set. The save and restore session facility in qsas 2 can assist in providing feedback since save session directories can be tarred and emailed (save files are platform, independent). The environment variable QSAS_DEBUG can be set "ON" in the user's QSAS script. This prints progress information to the terminal. Sending us the last few hundred lines of this output can also assist in diagnosing problems.
 

·  The binary executables shipped with qsas have the debug symbols stripped from them before distribution. If you wish to run qsas with a debugger, for example when debugging a user written plug-in, then these symbols should not be stripped from a locally built source copy (use "make install" rather than "make install-strip").


Acknowledging QSAS in Publications

The preferred wording for acknowledging use of QSAS in publications is "Data analysis was done with the QSAS science analysis system provided by the United Kingdom Cluster Science Centre (Imperial College London and Queen Mary, University of London) supported by The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)" or similar wording as appropriate.

Known Bugs and Future Enhancements

The Development Table itemises known issues by reference number with a short description of the issue, the module(s) affected, the version this is expected to be fixed by and the initials of the support staff member responsible for progressing it. Items are subdivided into "Bugs", "Features of the user interface" and "Enhancements planned".

Authors

This software is maintained by the CSC Team at IC. The team members have included, in alphabetical order, Tony Allen (A.Allen@ic.ac.uk), Stuart Bale, Janet Barnes, Nora Bounaira, David Burgess, Gareth Chisham, Markus Fraenz, Anthony Hare, James Meakin, Alban Rochel, Steve Schwartz (S.Schwartz@ic.ac.uk) and Abdeslam Serroukh. Current team members are shown with an email address. Please address all comments to csc-support-dl.

QSAS is developed as part of the Cluster Science Centre within the UK and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The software is provided as is under the GPL public licence, though QM and IC retain the copyright. No liability is accepted for any damage resulting from the installation or use of this software, and no guarantee of its suitability is implied for any use other than the scientific visualisation and manipulation of Cluster science data. Copyright.


Last up-dated 24 March 2014


Send comments and suggestions to csc-support-dl@imperial.ac.uk

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