eclipse latest new features
From version 3.6.* to version 3.7
Due mostly to namespace conflicts, the SFL library from iMatix has been more or less completely removed from eclipse. The only functions of interest for us have been copied/pasted (keeping a copyright notice as requested by the authors) into library modules. This has the effect of removing some thousands of lines of code from the distribution, making it easier to download and faster to compile!
The FITS library present in eclipse until now had been aging without hope for recovery. At some point, it has become necessary to replace it with something newer that would support all the file formats we will need to read/write in the future (extensions, tables, etc.).
Rewriting something from scratch is no big deal if you know where you are heading. The new library module represents 2000 lines of C, and has been produced over 5 intensive days of programming. It is most likely that there are still some bugs lurking around, but from what we could see it does the job fine (and faster than the previous one).
The key features about the new FITS read/write modules are:
This library should be hooked out of eclipse and also distributed separately, for developpers who want to have FITS capabilities without having to buy all of eclipse. It is also a way to maximize feedback on this part of the library.
Facing new data formats in FITS files is not only a matter of upgrading the FITS reader, but also the memory scheme in the package to support various data loading methods.
Mostly in view of the expected CONICA data formats, the memory handling scheme in eclipse has been revised and updated to include the notion of garbage collection and file pointer references, to allow for a more efficient handling of the large amounts of memory which need to be allocated by the recipes. This new scheme is described in details in the developper's manual, downloadable from this site (see from the main page).
This latest version features a new main Makefile and several other new ones. Will this is not likely to have any impact on the compiled code, you will notice this change after having typed make on the command-line to build the library. Hope it works fine on your machine!
The previous spectroscopy source file has been split into several files distributed within a module directory (called spectro, of course). This is in view of the predictable extend of this module functionalities as ISAAC recipes are increasing the need for more and more primitives.
Among the distributed scripts, you will now find a Tcl command called jitter.tcl, which provides a GUI for the jitter command. You need to have Tcl/Tk installed on your machine to call that script. It shows up all configurable options of the jitter.ini file and allows you to change them by clicking on buttons. Much more convenient hopefully...
Although work has started on the 2-pass mode for the jitter recipe, it is still not usable at that point. Some options are produced in the default generated ini file, but using them is likely to bring the recipe to a fatal state pretty quickly. Do not use these functionalities yet! You have been warned...
Impatient people can have a look at the code if they want to be useful: eclipse/src/isaac/sw-imaging/jitter_sky.c.
Since the eclipse 3.6, the way spjitter (the observation recipe of the ISAAC spectroscopic pipeline) handles the raw data to reduce it has deeply changed. The acquisition frames order has now some importance. The agorithm recognizes the acquisition sequence and classifies the raw frames according their position in the recognized pattern.
This pattern is defined by the acquisition offsets sequence. Inside the acquisition sequence, many sub-sequences are recognized. For each of them, a combined image is created where only one combined image were create in the previous version. The combined images are re-combined together at the end to produce the reduced frame.
In this reduction recipe, the order of steps as been modified. spjitter used to correct the distortion in the raw data. The resampling used to mix the noise with the signal. Now, the distortion correction is applied on sky signal free frames.
In addition, more options are now provided via the INI file, they all have been added according to users requirements:
The flatfield reduction has been improved. One reduction step has been added at the end: the previous master flat is devided by a vertical second degree polynomial fit.
The startrace (vertical distortion estimation) reduction recipe has completely been rewritten and produces 6 tables (see man page) describing the input frames object position is, the relations between these positions, the distortions in the different bands, the spectra shapes...
The response function reduction recipe is now available. Standard stars acquisitions are used to obtain the (telescope+instrument+detector) response. Efficiency curves and conversion curves are found.
As for spjitter, many options have been added to the calibration recipes according to users wishes. See the man pages.
All reported bugs have been corrected.
eclipse is currently in the process of being integrated into Python to offer its functionalities in a high-level language environment. More about that soon...
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