FTOOLS: A FITS Data Processing and Analysis Software Package

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Session 16 -- WGAS I
Oral presentation, Monday, 10:30-12:00, Durham Room

[16.04] FTOOLS: A FITS Data Processing and Analysis Software Package

J. Kent Blackburn (Hughes STX / NASA GSFC), Emily A. Greene (Hughes STX / NASA GSFC), William Pence (NASA GSFC)

FTOOLS, a highly modular collection of utilities for processing and

analyzing data in the FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) format,

has been developed in support of the HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics

Research Archive Center) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Each

utility performs a single simple task such as presentation of file

contents, extraction of specific rows or columns, appending or merging

tables, binning values in a column or selecting subsets of rows based

on a boolean expression. Individual utilities can easily be chained

together in scripts to achieve more complex operations such as the

generation and displaying of spectra or light curves. The collection

of utilities provides both generic processing and analysis utilities

and utilities common to high energy astrophysics data sets. The FTOOLS

software package is designed to be both compatible with IRAF and

completely stand alone in a UNIX or VMS environment. The user interface

is controlled by standard IRAF parameter files. The package is self

documenting through the IRAF help facility and a stand alone help task.

Software is written in ANSI C and FORTRAN to provide portability across

most computer systems. The data format dependencies between hardware

platforms are isolated through the FITSIO library package.

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