README - fitsplode

Steve Torchinsky, 2009 April 22

Licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 or later. Please see

For installation, please see download and installation instructions.

fitsplode is adapted from cimapipe, originally developed by me in 2004/5 for a quick look at Arecibo spectral line data from the WAPP.

The code carries a lot of historical baggage. It may be ugly and hard to follow, but it seems to work. No guarantees. You have been warned.

fitsplode is a data extractor for spectral line data in FITS files which use binary tables. In particular, it works for raw data from Effelsberg (in MBFITS format) and raw data from Arecibo (in CIMAFITS format). It explodes the file into individual FITS files each with one spectrum. These files can then be read into your favourite data processing program, such as for example xs by Per Bergman, and others, which do not read binary tables in FITS files, but which do read simple FITS files.

fitsplode will also do some very basic data reduction for a quick look. It will take all the spectra found in the file and coadd them as appropriate. The results are dumped into ascii files. The files are created in the current working directory, and the filenames are taken from the object name, scantype, etc.

You can process multiple files in a single invocation. The spectra will all be coadded, as appropriate.

There are a few options which can be seen in the usage message which appears when fitsplode is invoked without arguments. Here is the usage message:

fitsplode v0.87 compiled: Apr 19 2009 19:02:55
by: Steve Torchinsky
usage: fitsplode [OPTIONS] [filename [filename ...]]
   -h : display this message
   -o : output directory (default is current)
   -v : verbose output
   -vv : more verbose
   -vvv : debug level verbose output
   -q : run quietly
   -heads : print all headers to standard out

After processing, it presents a summary table and you can select a spectrum from the table for plotting. In the plot window you have a few mouse and keyboard options:



A postscript version of the plot is created everytime you replot the window. It is named similar to the ascii dump, but with extension “.ps”

Each new zoom recreates the postscript file, so if you want to save different views of the same data, you should rename the postscript file before plotting a new window.

last update 2021 April 14, 17:00 UTC by Steve Torchinsky. See changelog.