Proposals:FITS ImageIO

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Adding Support for FITS Image File Format

What is FITS ?

FITS stands for `Flexible Image Transport System' and is the standard astronomical data format endorsed by both NASA and the IAU. FITS is much more than an image format (such as JPG or GIF) and is primarily designed to store scientific data sets consisting of multi-dimensional arrays (1-D spectra, 2-D images or 3-D data cubes) and 2-dimensional tables containing rows and columns of data.

[Data Format Web page at NASA]

  • The standard data format used in astronomy
  • Stands for 'Flexible Image Transport System'
  • Endorsed by NASA and the International Astronomical Union
  • Much more than just another image format (such as JPEG or GIF)
  • Used for the transport, analysis, and archival storage of scientific data sets
    • Multi-dimensional arrays: 1D spectra, 2D images, 3D+ data cubes
    • Tables containing rows and columns of information
    • Header keywords provide descriptive information about the data

Documentation about FITS

What do we propose to do ?

  1. Add a FITSImageIO class to ITK
  2. Add a FITSImageIOFactory class to ITK
  3. Add a CMake option for building these classes only when the cfitsio library is present

Note that FITS is quite a powerful fileformat and manages more than images. This initial proposal will only relate to the image part of FITS files, and with the assumption that one file contains only one image.

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