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Regular version of the site

Article

Fips: an OpenGL based FITS viewer

Kornilov M., Malanchev K.

FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) is a common format for astronomical data storage. It was first standardised in the early 1980s. Even though astronomical data is now processed mostly using software, visual data inspection by a human is still important during equipment or software commissioning and while observing. We present Fips, a cross-platform FITS file viewer open source software. To the best of our knowledge, it is for the first time that the image rendering algorithms are implemented mostly on GPU (graphics processing unit). We show that it is possible to implement a fully-capable FITS viewer using OpenGL interface. We also emphasise the advantages of using GPUs for efficient image handling.