CCfits: C++ classes  for FITS I/O

Version 2.4

CCfits is an object oriented interface to the cfitsio library. It is designed to make the capabilities of cfitsio available to programmers working in C++. It is written in ANSI C++ and implemented using the C++ Standard Library with namespaces, exception handling, and member template functions.

The CCfits library provides an interface that allows the user to manipulate FITS format data through the high-level building blocks of FITS files and Header-Data Units (HDUs). The implementation is designed to hide the details of performing FITS I/O from the user, who will write calls that manipulate FITS objects by passing filenames and lists of strings that represent HDUs, keywords, image data and data columns. Unlike cfitsio, which typically requires several calls to access data (e.g. open file, move to correct header, determine column containing table data, read data). CCfits is designed to make reading data atomic. For example, it exploits internally existing optimization techniques for FITS I/O, choosing the optimal reading strategy as available [see the cfitsio manual, Chapter 13] when data are read on initialization. Data written by CCfits will also be compliant with the FITS standard by specification of class constructors representing FITS dataset elements.

CCfits necessarily works in a fundamentally different way than cfitsio. The general pattern of usage for CCfits is: create a FITS object, which either opens a disk file or creates a new disk file, create references to existing or new HDU objects within it, and manipulated the data through the references. For files with Write access the library is designed to keep the FITS object on disk synchronized with the memory copy.

For detailed information about supported platforms and compilers, please see the HEAsoft Supported Platforms page. In addition to the architectures listed there, CCfits is also supported using MS Windows Visual C++.


Please send any questions or comments to the CCfits help desk.