Swift Data Access
GCN (GRB Coordinates Network) notices specific to Swift are generated automatically and are stored in the
local GCN pages. The local archive updates immediately
new data are received.
A description of the GCN system is
provided by GSFC; GCN notices are also archived at the
GSFC Swift GCN site
More detailed information is relayed in the
Data products are made available as Quick Look
data as soon as they have been processed by the Swift Data Center
(SDC) at GSFC (a few hours after the observation occurs). The data remain
on the Quick Look sites (UK, US, IT) for one week, after
which the files are moved to the main archive.
Guide to the Swift Archive (pdf)
The UK Swift Science Data Centre provides two ways of accessing the Swift
- Swift Download Portal -
- Simple interface allowing searching by name and target id.
- Full catalogue query tool -
- Comprehensive catalogue search tool.
If you want to download all the data for a target, then you probably want to use the download portal. However, this only allows you to find observations by the
name of the target, or by searching through a target list for a given
year/month. If this is not sufficient, for example you may want to do a cone
search, you need the more advanced Catalogue Query interface. The lists below show
briefly the pros and cons of the two interfaces.
- Very quick data access
- One tar file per object
(may span many observations)
- Gives an estimated download size
- Search interface is very simple
- Does not provide detailed information about observations
- Performs complex searches very easily (including cone searches)
- Provides detailed information on observations
- Allows use of the portal for downloads.
- Simple searches take longer than with the download portal
- XRT light-curves, spectra and positions are automatically created for every GRB which Swift follows-up, both those triggered by the BAT and those from other missions for which a ToO observation is performed. Additional BAT+XRT light-curves are also available from the Burst Analyser. All links can also be found from the XRT Products page. The GRB Region page provides information about the field of view around BAT GRB triggers, including DSS images and nearby galaxies.
An overview of the convention for assigning Observation IDs is available.