2 The Datacube Package

The Starlink DATACUBE Package (see SUN/237) of which this cookbook forms a part, mainly consists of C-shell (csh) scripts layered on top of various pieces of the Starlink Software Collection (SSC). This approach was a deliberate design decision to allow the maximum amount of flexibility during data visualisation. Due to the relative lack of maturity in this still developing field, it is difficult to say exactly what visualisation tasks you may wish (or be required) to carry out to achieve the underlying science. While I (AA) have attempted to anticipate commonly required tasks, the implementation of the package in easily understandable, and modifiable, scripts allows you to make minor (or even major) changes to the way they behave, although most of the scripts already have command-line arguments which can modify their behaviour to some extent (see SUN/237 for details).

It is to be hoped that enough ground work has been done so that the approach to solving your data visualisation or manipulation problem is obvious, even if DATACUBE doesn’t have a script or application to exactly what you require. I would welcome comments, contributions and corrections to the package since I have been very much aware while compiling it my on lack of experience in this fast evolving field, and my own biases. For instance, this document deals only briefly with IRAF, while I am aware that there are IRAF applications available that will deal with spectral data cubes, my own lack of familiarlity with the IRAF package has lead to only spartan coverage. Comments should be sent to the Starlink support mailing list starlink@jiscmail.ac.uk .