The Starlink software collection

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Session 48 -- Software and Analytical Tools
Display presentation, Thursday, January 13, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[48.01] The Starlink software collection

A.J. Penny, P.T.Wallace, J.C.Sherman, D.L.Terret (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

A demonstration will be given of some recent Starlink software.


\large STARLINK is: \vspace*{-0.6em}

\begin{itemize} \item a network of computers used by UK astronomers; \item a collection of programs for the calibration and analysis of astronomical data; \item a team of people giving hardware, software and administrative support. \end{itemize}

\vspace*{-0.3em} The Starlink Project has been in operation since 1980 to provide UK astronomers with interactive image processing and data reduction facilities. There are now Starlink computer systems at 25 UK locations, serving about 1500 registered users.

The Starlink software collection now has about 25 major packages covering a wide range of astronomical data reduction and analysis techniques, as well as many smaller programs and utilities. At the core of most of the packages is a common `software environment', which provides many of the functions which applications need and offers standardized methods of structuring and accessing data. The software environment simplifies programming and support, and makes it easy to use different packages for different stages of the data reduction. Users see a consistent style, and can mix applications without hitting problems of differing data formats. The Project group coordinates the writing and distribution of this software collection, which is Unix based.

Outside the UK, Starlink is used at a large number of places, which range from installations at major UK telescopes, which are Starlink-compatible and managed like Starlink sites, to individuals who run only small parts of the Starlink software collection.

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