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Paper: A Proposed Convention for Writing FITS Data Tapes: DRAFT 0
Volume: 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV
Page: 241
Authors: ROSAT/ASCA/Xte Development Team
Abstract: Even with today's advances in networking, file system capacities and CD technology it is often necessary to transport and store scientific data sets on magnetic tape. The FITS data format standard contains guidelines on how to write FITS files to magnetic tape but does not address the problem of indexing or organizing tape files. Currently available magnetic tape media can store multiple gigabytes of information on a single tape, which translates into thousands of FITS files per tape. Thus, the lack of a standard tape indexing and organizing scheme can, in many instances, become a serious problem. Faced with the above dilemma, the Astrophysics Data Facility at Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a simple in-house convention for indexing the contents of FITS data tapes that allows software to quickly and easily inventory tape contents. This paper describes the convention used by our organization. We propose that this convention be adopted into the FITS standard as the way to index and organize the contents of magnetic tape media.
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