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27 June 2006 MOPEX: a software package for astronomical image processing and visualization
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We present MOPEX - a software package for astronomical image processing and display. The package is a combination of command-line driven image processing software written in C/C++ with a Java-based GUI. The main image processing capabilities include creating mosaic images, image registration, background matching, point source extraction, as well as a number of minor image processing tasks. The combination of the image processing and display capabilities allows for much more intuitive and efficient way of performing image processing. The GUI allows for the control over the image processing and display to be closely intertwined. Parameter setting, validation, and specific processing options are entered by the user through a set of intuitive dialog boxes. Visualization feeds back into further processing by providing a prompt feedback of the processing results. The GUI also allows for further analysis by accessing and displaying data from existing image and catalog servers using a virtual observatory approach. Even though originally designed for the Spitzer Space Telescope mission, a lot of functionalities are of general usefulness and can be used for working with existing astronomical data and for new missions. The software used in the package has undergone intensive testing and benefited greatly from effective software reuse. The visualization part has been used for observation planning for both the Spitzer and Herschel Space Telescopes as part the tool Spot. The visualization capabilities of Spot have been enhanced and integrated with the image processing functionality of the command-line driven MOPEX. The image processing software is used in the Spitzer automated pipeline processing, which has been in operation for nearly 3 years. The image processing capabilities have also been tested in off-line processing by numerous astronomers at various institutions around the world. The package is multi-platform and includes automatic update capabilities. The software package has been developed by a small group of software developers and scientists at the Spitzer Science Center. It is available for distribution at the Spitzer Science Center web page.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David Makovoz, Trey Roby, Iffat Khan, and Hartley Booth "MOPEX: a software package for astronomical image processing and visualization", Proc. SPIE 6274, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy, 62740C (27 June 2006);


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