The RHESSI data analaysis software is written in IDL.  It is part of the SolarSoftWare system (SSW), a set of integrated software libraries, data bases, and system utilities which provide a common programming and data analysis environment for Solar Physics.

If you haven't installed the RHESSI software yet, visit the Installation guide and after installing IDL and SSW, be sure to customize the SSW setup for RHESSI analysis.  See Accessing RHESSI Data for help on accessing the data files through the software.

The RHESSI software is object-oriented.  Each high-level data type (image, spectrum, observing summary, etc.) is associated with an object class that is built from a chain of objects, each of which performs a specific function from reading the raw data from files to unpacking them, extracting the necessary components, and generating the final product.

Because the RHESSI telemetry data includes all of the information about each detected photon, the data analyst can select the desired time resolution, spectral  range and resolution, spatial resolution, image quality, etc, making tradeoffs on a case-by-case basis to match the event and scientific objectives.

Analysts can use the software either through IDL's Command Line Interface (CLI) or the RHESSI GUI, or both.  The same image object, for example, can be manipulated simultaneously from the CLI or the GUI.  Everything that the GUI does can be done from the CLI.  The CLI is more flexible and powerful; the GUI is simpler and more intuitive.

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