PySALT: The SALT science pipeline

Steven M. Crawford, Martin Still, Pim Schellart, Luis Balona, David A.H. Buckley, Garith Dugmore, Amanda A.S. Gulbis, Alexei Kniazev, Marissa Kotze, Nicola Loaring, Kenneth H. Nordsieck, Timothy E. Pickering, Stephen Potter, Encarni Romero Colmenero, Petri Vaisanen, Theodore Williams, Ewald Zietsman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

181 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Processes, and Systems III
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Pipelines
  • PySALT
  • SALT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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