APIRP: The Automated Photometric Data Reduction Package

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Astronomical Society, Department of Planetary Sciences


For decades the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) has been the standard for processing CCD-based image datasets. During that time, technology has advanced and the astronomical record greatly expanded. However, the discovery process is often bogged down by the time consuming procedures of image reduction. To keep up with demand and shorten reduction steps programmers have developed a series of command languages (CL) for IRAF and most recently, within only the past five years, the Python-based language, Pyraf. Python is a robust and powerful language that combines syntactical simplicity with versatile and dynamic file management, database access and software development capabilities, to name just a few features. Pyraf, by extension, incorporates all of the qualities of IRAF CL, with all of the power and flexibility provided by Python. Pyraf scripts may be written to automate file processing at the same time that reduction tasks are called from IRAF. Thus, the potential to write fully automated reduction procedures is here; tightening the gaps of scientific advancement. We have created such a tool for CCD Photometry. Our Automated Photometric Image Reduction Package (APIRP) uses a range of graphical user interfaces (GUI's) to form an interactive yet non-overbearing user environment. A combination of built-in file management and procedural variability makes APIRP a perfect choice for both amateur and professional astronomers. Due to the programs design, it can be run from anywhere on your computer and users can specify exactly what steps of reduction they wish to execute. Thus, setup is easy with no need for cumbersome documentation and tasks may be preformed piecewise or in blocks, depending on the users needs.