RPFITS - ATNF data-recording format

The current version of RPFITS is 2.24 (as of 2017/01/17).


RPFITS is the data-recording format used since the mid-1980s within the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF).

RPFITS is used to record synthesis visibility data obtained from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at Narrabri, NSW. It is also used for single-dish spectral line data obtained from Parkes and Mopra, including Parkes multibeam data.

While RPFITS superficially resembles random group FITS it differs in the following important respects:

These differences make RPFITS incompatible with standard FITS software such as FITSIO and FTOOLS and, in particular, precludes the use of fv, a powerful GUI-based FITS browser/editor. However, a translator, rp2sdfits, is available that converts RPFITS single-dish data to SDFITS format that is based on standard FITS binary tables. rp2sdfits is available as part of the livedata/gridzilla package.

The Fortran library distributed here contains routines for reading and writing RPFITS files. A header file, RPFITS.h, is provided to facilitate usage by C and C++ applications. Also included is rpfhdr, a utility for viewing RPFITS headers (it also works for standard FITS), and rpfex for extracting selected scans from an RPFITS file.


In addition to the source code distribution kit, the following RPFITS binary distributions are available: