Hera Software Tools

The Hera data processing facility provides many general utility programs for manipulating FITS format images and tables. Most of these tools are fairly simple to use and hence are suitable for amateur astronomers and educators. At the same time, these tools provide many different options to meet the needs of advanced researchers.

These general tools are organized into several different FTOOLS packages:

  • HEATOOLS - tasks for listing and editing and calculating statistics about any FITS file, image processing calculators, and general table manipulation tools (sorting, appending, selecting rows, etc.)
  • FIMAGE - utilities for general image processing and manipulation.
  • FUTILS - a large set of general FITS utility program mainly for manipulating FITS headers or tables; some of these are older versions of tools in the HEATOOLS package.
A short tutorial is available that describe how to get more detailed help on using each of these programs, and the general features of the IRAF-style parameter interface that is used to run the tasks from the command line. Hera also provides a graphical user interface that can be used to enter all the input parameters and run each task.

Hera also provides hundreds of more specialized programs, mainly for professional researchers, to analyze data from high-energy astrophysics missions such as ROSAT, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Swift, and Suzaku. Currently, these tools include all the hundreds of programs in the HEASARC FTOOLS and the Chandra CIAO data analysis packages, as well as several of the most frequently used programs in the XMM-Newton SAS package.

Please contact the Hera development group at the HEASARC if there are other software tools you would like to see added to Hera.

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