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29 July 2010 PySALT: the SALT science pipeline
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PySALT is the python/PyRAF-based data reduction and analysis pipeline for the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), a modern 10m class telescope with a large user community consisting of 13 partner institutions. The two first generation instruments on SALT are SALTICAM, a wide-field imager, and the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS). Along with traditional imaging and spectroscopy modes, these instruments provide a wide range of observing modes, including Fabry-Perot imaging, polarimetric observations, and high-speed observations. Due to the large user community, resources available, and unique observational modes of SALT, the development of reduction and analysis software is key to maximizing the scientific return of the telescope. PySALT is developed in the Python/PyRAF environment and takes advantage of a large library of open-source astronomical software. The goals in the development of PySALT are: (1) Provide science quality reductions for the major operational modes of SALT, (2) Create analysis tools for the unique modes of SALT, and (3) Create a framework for the archiving and distribution of SALT data. The data reduction software currently provides support for the reduction and analysis of regular imaging, high-speed imaging, and long slit spectroscopy with planned support for multi-object spectroscopy, high-speed spectroscopy, Fabry-Perot imaging, and polarimetric data sets. We will describe the development and current status of PySALT and highlight its benefits through early scientific results from SALT.
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