Software

Data Analysis Packages


IRAF and STSDAS

The Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) was produced by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) for reducing and analyzing astronomical data. The system is set up as a series of packages, which are sets of programs known as tasks.

The Space Telescope Science Data Analysis System (STSDAS) is set up as a package within IRAF and includes subpackages and tasks specifically written for HST data sets. STSDAS and IRAF work together as complementary packages so that whenever a tool exists in IRAF, it is not duplicated in STSDAS.

Although STSDAS and IRAF work together, they use separate image data formats. These differences are outlined in the STSDAS Users Guide, which is available from the Science Software Branch. As a rule of thumb, keep HST data sets in STSDAS format and keep Kitt Peak data sets in IRAF format.

If you have any problems setting up IRAF, see the STSDAS Users Guide, or contact the designated HotSeat person (type HOTSEAT at the system prompt).

IDL

Interactive Data Language (IDL), from Research Systems, Incorporated, is a package used to analyze scientific data, and plot or display results. The package includes an interpreted programming language and commands which can be interactively typed from the keyboard or executed or combined with other programs. Contributed procedure libraries, including several specific to astronomical data, have been installed at the Institute. In particular, we have the Astronomy User's Library from Goddard Space Flight Center. IDL is one of the few packages we have that supports 3-D plotting.

For more information about using IDL, refer to Chapter 5 of the STScI Science Software Guide, the IDL User's Guide, and the IDL Reference Guide. Copies of these documents are available in the Science Software Support Office.

MIDAS

The Munich Image Data Analysis System (MIDAS) was developed by the Image Processing Group at the European Southern Observatory. It is available on the VMS science cluster. MIDAS can be used in either of two modes: interactive or batch.

Setup instructions for MIDAS are found in Chapter 5 of the STScI Software Guide. MIDAS is documented in the MIDAS Users Guide. A reference copy is available in the Science Software Support Office.

IRAF and STSDAS
IDL
MIDAS

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