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[ascl:9912.002] FTOOLS: A general package of software to manipulate FITS files

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. The FTOOLS package contains many utility programs which perform modular tasks on any FITS image or table, as well as higher-level analysis programs designed specifically for data from current and past high energy astrophysics missions. The utility programs for FITS tables are especially rich and powerful, and provide functions for 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 FTOOLS programs can easily be chained together in scripts to achieve more complex operations such as the generation and displaying of spectra or light curves. FTOOLS development began in 1991 and has produced the main set of data analysis software for the current ASCA and RXTE space missions and for other archival sets of X-ray and gamma-ray data. The FTOOLS software package is supported on most UNIX platforms and on Windows machines. The user interface is controlled by standard parameter files that are very similar to those used by IRAF. The package is self documenting through a stand alone help task called fhelp. 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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Keywords: NASA

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