The New Web-Based Hera Data Processing System at the HEASARC

William Pence (NASA/GSFC), Pan Chai (NASA/GSFC)


The HEASARC at NASA/GSFC has provided an on-line astronomical data processing system called Hera for several years. Hera provides a complete data processing environment, including installed software packages, local data storage, and the CPU resources needed to process the user's data. The original design of Hera, however, has 2 requirements that has limited it's usefulness for some users, namely, that 1) the user must download and install a small helper program on their own computer before using Hera, and 2) Hera requires that several computer ports/sockets be allowed to communicate through any local firewalls on the user's machine. Both of these restrictions can be problematic for some users, therefore we are now migrating Hera into a purely Web based environment which only requires a standard Web browser. The first release of Web Hera is now publicly available at It currently provides a standard graphical interface for running hundreds of different data processing programs that are available in the HEASARC's ftools software package. Over the next year we plan to add more features to Web Hera, including an interactive command line interface, and more image display and line graphics capabilities.

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