While the user wants to be assured of this, it appears unrealistic to expect that complicated algorithms can always be documented to the sub-pixel level. With the accelerating exchange and export of software in astronomy, inquiries to the people who have written or are maintaining the software are often difficult or impractical. The only solution is testing. This must be done on some suitable test images so that the results can immediately be checked with, e.g., a pocket calculator. This evidently requires images with some simple geometrical patterns.
The primary use of such images is in assessing accuracy of operations involving transformations of images.
The generation of such test images is a non-trivial task, both on the conceptualisation and on the implementation levels because the test images must be independently conceived of the software items which will be subsequently used on them, and the numerical precision of the test images (we have aimed at 1 in 104) must exceed the S/N of typical observations by an order of magnitude. We therefore offer a small set of programs for the generation of such test images and, in cases where the required execution time is prohibitive, the frames themselves. The objective of the package is to allow tests of all routines which do not maintain the identity of a pixel such as rebinning, rotation and filtering. Fitting can also be considered. The usage of the programs and images that we provide as a reference test package should also facilitate documentation of possible application software malfunctions and their subsequent repair. We provide in detail below the images constructed, with the precisions obtained, and mention implementation details where relevant.
It is clearly not possible to provide every image configuration of interest but it may be noted that the images which are provided may be combined in any desired manner. This refers in particular to the rotating or flipping of the patterns described below, or the adding of various backgrounds (also provided) to these images. Images with spatial frequency spectra which come close to those of real data can be obtained by filtering.
The commands described in the following sections are activated by setting the GEOTEST context, by using the command SET/CONTEXT GEOTEST in a MIDAS session.