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Paper: Investigating HDF as an Astronomical Data Transport and Archival Format
Volume: 61, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems III
Page: 526
Authors: Jennings, D. G.; McGlynn, T. A.; Folk, M.
Abstract: The Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) has become a widely accepted and very successful standard for data transport and data archiving in the Astronomical community. While FITS performs its function as a data standard admirably (especially since the addition of the BINTABLE binary table extension), it does contain several design limitations that might impede its long-term usefulness to the community. As a possible future alternative to FITS, we investigate the use of the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) in astronomical data archiving and transport. HDF possesses several attributes -- a universal software interface, data object grouping structures and applicability to other scientific disciplines -- that makes it a potentially useful format for astronomical data. We also investigate the possibility of augmenting the current FITS format with several HDF-like characteristics in order to enhance its general versatility and convertibility with other (HDF, netCDF) data formats.
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