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Paper: Is HDF5 a Good Format to Replace UVFITS?
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 531
Authors: Price, D. C.; Barsdell, B. R.; Greenhill, L. J.
Abstract: The FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data format was developed in the late 1970s for storage and exchange of astronomy-related image data. Since then, it has become a standard file format not only for images, but also for radio interferometer data (e.g. UVFITS, FITS-IDI). But is FITS the right format for next-generation telescopes to adopt? The newer Hierarchical Data Format (HDF5) file format offers considerable advantages over FITS, but has yet to gain widespread adoption within the radio astronomy. One of the major holdbacks is that HDF5 is not well supported by data reduction software packages. Here, we present a comparison of FITS, HDF5, and the MeasurementSet (MS) format for storage of interferometric data. In addition, we present a tool for converting between formats. We show that the underlying data model of FITS can be ported to HDF5, a first step toward achieving wider HDF5 support.
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