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TABLES/STSDAS v3.12 and STSCI_PYTHON v2.10 Now Available

  • Monday, June 21 2010 @ 08:10 PM GMT
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General News

The Science Software Branch of the Space Telescope Science Institute wishes to announce the availability of version 3.12 of the Space Telescope Science Data Analysis Software (STSDAS). Concurrent with the STSDAS release, we have also released v3.12 of the TABLES external package. ....

See below for further information and changelog.

Both of these packages are layered upon IRAF as external packages; it is therefore necessary to obtain and install IRAF (from http://iraf.noao.edu) before installing TABLES and STSDAS. STSDAS is linked against libraries in TABLES, so TABLES must be installed before STSDAS.

This release of STSDAS contains changes to NICMOS, ACS, COS, and WFC3, and the Dither packages. This release includes the same versions of the calibration software used in the pipeline to support all active HST instruments using the algorithms developed from the data taken during Servicing Mission 4, especially for the new instruments Wide Field Camera 3(WFC3) and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph(COS).

In addition, we are now including the code used by the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) to do the final reprocessing of the FOS data that now resides in the HST archives. This package, STPOA, along with the last stand-alone version of the FOS package in HST_CALIB, are being provided purely for documentation of the algorithms used in generating the calibrated data in the archives. The code in the STPOA package is not expected to be usable for processing FOS data anymore, however, it remains a useful resource for understanding how the archived FOS data was calibrated.

STSDAS also includes some Python-based tasks; running these requires the STScI Python Libraries to be installed (all the non-Python tasks can be used in the traditional way and do not require Python or the STScI Python libraries). These tasks can only be run from PyRAF using standard IRAF CL task syntax, or within Python scripts using Python syntax.

The Science Software Branch of STScI also wishes to announce the availability of version 2.10 of STSCI_PYTHON. STScI_Python is a collection of Python modules, packages and C extensions that has been developed to provide a general astronomical data analysis infrastructure. They can be used for Python tasks that are accessible from within STSDAS when running under PyRAF or standalone from within Python.

All tasks in this release of STScI_Python rely on the use of numpy for array operations. All references to numarray and Numeric have been removed from the code, with support no longer being provided for use of numarray or Numeric.

The primary testing for this release took place under Python 2.5.4 using numpy 1.4. This release also represents the first step in our efforts to prepare our code for eventual conversion to Python 3.0. All the code in this release was updated to use the division library which will be standard for Python 3.0 through the use of 'from __future__ import division'. This code was then tested under Python 2.6 to insure that all the results are identical to those obtained under Python 2.5.4. This distribution continues to develop packages with tasks specific to each HST instrument, with updates being made to code for WFPC2 and COS. This release also contains an updated version of Multidrizzle and PyDrizzle as used by the HST ACS and WFC3 pipelines, along with significantly updated versions of PyFITS and PyRAF. Use of the Python tasks requires upgrading to this version of STSCI_PYTHON.

The updated version of PyRAF included in this release can now be run in a "No-IRAF" mode, where the Python shell will run and - although no IRAF tasks will be found - the basic capabilities of the PyRAF command-line will still be supported. The release notes contain more specific information about what still works under PyRAF without IRAF.

Finally, this release also includes a new package, STWCS, an HST instrument specific library which provides detector to world coordinate transformations using all distortion model information available through the WCS keywords.

No More support for numarray

Numarray is no longer used by tasks within STScI_Python. You are advised to migrate to numpy to use this release, as no further support will be provided for the use of numarray.

Information on making the switch to numpy from numarray can be found in this document:


Platform Support

This release does not contain STSDAS/Tables binaries for PowerPC Macintosh systems. However, there are no known reasons why a user could not build this package from source code on a PowerPC using the installation instructions for STSDAS.

STSDAS/Tables Binaries for this release were built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, Solaris 5.8, and Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel architecture only).

STSDAS/Tables Binaries were built with IRAF 2.14, except for Solaris, which were built with IRAF 2.12.2a. IRAF is available from http://iraf.net.

In addition, this distribution of STScI_Python was tested to correctly support installation on Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), and Solaris, while also being provided for installation (without IRAF) under Windows.


This release includes a port of stsci_python that runs natively under Windows. PyRAF is not included for use with the Windows distribution, but the source distribution for STScI_Python could potentially be installed under Cygwin to work with the IRAF installation there, although that configuration has not been verified or tested.

The primary requirement for use of this installer is that the Windows executables were built against and, therefore, can run only under Python 2.5.


STSDAS/TABLES v3.12 can be downloaded from the STSDAS web site


Installation instructions are available on the web site. Precompiled binaries also exist for some of the ports supported by NOAO, including Sun Solaris, RedHat Linux and Mac OS X.

STSCI_PYTHON v 2.10 be downloaded from the PyRAF web site


Installation instructions are available from the PyRAF web site, with support for installations on Sun Solaris, RedHat Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Please contact us through e-mail (help@stsci.edu), by telephone at (410) 338-1082.

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