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FITS Manager

FITS Manager

           FITS Manager is a web-based tool for viewing, creating and editing FITS files, and for converting FITS images to other image formats. The the tool was developed by Ms. Pallavi Kulkarni at IUCAA as a part of the VO-India project.

The tool currently supports following features:

     1. Viewing FITS files.

     2. Creating FITS files from image and tabular data.

     3. Adding extensions to FITS files.

     4. Converting FITS files to other formats.

The FITS Format

           As described on the very useful http://fits.gsfc.nasa.gov/fits_intro.html , FITS (Flexible Image Transport System), is a data format designed to provide a means for convenient exchange of astronomical data between installations whose standard internal formats and hardware differ. A FITS data file is composed of a sequence of Header Data Units (HDUs). The header consists of keyword=value statements, which describe the organization of the data in the HDU and the format of the contents. It may provide additional information, for example, about instrument status or the history of the data. The data follow, structured as the header specifies. The data section of the HDU may contain a digital image, but, except for the first HDU, it does not have to contain an image. Other possible FITS data include tables and multidimensional matrices that are not images. An HDU need not contain data. If the first HDU contains data, they must be organized as an array of one or more dimensions; in subsequent HDUs, called extensions, other organizations are possible, consistent with certain rules. The word "Image" in `FITS comes from the original use of the format to transport digital images, but other data structures are now supported."

FITS Manager Utilities

A.      The "View FITS" utility in FITS manager allows the user to view the contents of FITS files, located at some specified URL. The utility first provides a short summary of the FITS headers of the files in the specified directory, and it is possible to request more detailed information about the image or table in the FITS file, and to view the images and tables.

B.      The "Create FITS" utility in FITS manager allows the user to create FITS file from image data in various formats and from tabular data in the ASCII format.

C.      The "Add Extension" utility in FITS manager allows the user to add extensions to existing FITS file. Currently, the utility supports only "ASCII table" and "Binary table" extensions. Any number of such extensions can be added.

D.      The "Convert FITS File" utility allows the user to convert FITS images to other image formats. Currently the formats to which conversion is supported are gif, jpg, mpeg, tiff, ps and eps.

Current Architecture

FITS Manager is currently available in two forms:
1. Local User Version
2. Remote User Version

* Local user Version: This version is meant for users who are on the same network as the FITS manager server. The FITS manager acts on files on disks mounted on the local network.

* Remote user version: This version is meant for users who are on a different network than the FITS manager server. The user can read FITS files in any location by specifying the URL. The FITS data is copied from its original location, to the FITS manager server. Any processed files are again written to this server and have to be transferred by the user to the users disks if required. This version therefore requires a reasonable bandwidth if large files are to be processed. Click here for the software.

* Future Development: The FITS manager will be available in a stand alone version to be installed on the user's machine or on a server in the network.

This project is supported by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology

   Virtual Observatory India