OYSTER was created when three collections of scripts written first in PV-WAVE Command Language (PV-WAVE is a trademark of Rogue Wave Software) and then also in the Interactive Data Language (IDL is a trademark of Exelis Visual Information Solutions) were merged into one for the purpose of providing a comprehensive data analysis package for the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer at Lowell (NPOI). The three original collections are CHAMELEON, which reduces a single night of data, AMOEBA, which fits models to the calibrated visibility data of several nights, and STARBASE, which implements a stellar data base and provides catalog access. Also introduced are new collections of scripts, namely COBRA, which provides functions for the interactive analysis of raw interferometry data and PEARL, which images interferometric data. STARWHEEL is still in a design phase for an interferometric observation planner.

The name OYSTER was derived from OISDR (Optical Interferometer Script Data Reduction). The Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer developers believe in real world naming of software.

OYSTER is a 40,000+ lines of code project to provide a comprehensive system for displaying, editing, averaging, calibrating, and modeling interferometry data. It has been developed by Dr. Christian Hummel over several years at the US Naval Observatory and the European Southern Observatory. PV-WAVE CL and IDL were chosen as the programming environment because they provide interactive data manipulation and extensive plotting and visualization tools. Coding and debugging are very fast in this environment. OYSTER is an endeavor to integrate all tasks related to planning and analysing interferometric observations in one package. It also tries to maximize ease of use by providing both command line procedures and widget routines. A 100-page manual is provided. Users can also find instructions on how to build their own library of procedures which take the place of and modify the implemented procedures by compilation at runtime.

Available features of OYSTER include:

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