CCfits  2.6
Writing Primary Images and Image Extensions

This section of the code demonstrates creation of images. Because every fits file must have a PHDU element, all the FITS constructors (ctors) instantiate a PHDU object. In the case of a new file, the default is to establish an empty HDU with BITPIX = 8 (BYTE_IMG). A current limitation of the code is that the data type of the PHDU cannot be replaced after the FITS file is created. Arguments to the FITS ctors allow the specification of the data type and the number of axes and their lengths. An image extension of type float is also written by calls in between the writes to the primary header demonstrating switch between HDUs during writes.

Note that in the example below data of type float is written to an image of type unsigned int, demonstrating both implicit type conversion and the cfitsio extension to unsigned data.

User keywords can be added to the PHDU after successful construction and these will both be accessible as container contents in the in-memory FITS object as well as being written to disk by cfitsio.

Images are represented by the standard library valarray template class which supports vectorized operations on numeric arrays (e.g. taking the square root of an array) and slicing techniques.

The code below also illustrates use of C++ standard library algorithms, and the facilities provided by the std::valarray class.

int writeImage()
// Create a FITS primary array containing a 2-D image
// declare axis arrays.
long naxis = 2;
long naxes[2] = { 300, 200 };
// declare auto-pointer to FITS at function scope. Ensures no resources
// leaked if something fails in dynamic allocation.
std::auto_ptr<FITS> pFits(0);
// overwrite existing file if the file already exists.
const std::string fileName("!");
// Create a new FITS object, specifying the data type and axes for the primary
// image. Simultaneously create the corresponding file.
// this image is unsigned short data, demonstrating the cfitsio extension
// to the FITS standard.
pFits.reset( new FITS(fileName , USHORT_IMG , naxis , naxes ) );
catch (FITS::CantCreate)
// ... or not, as the case may be.
return -1;
// references for clarity.
long& vectorLength = naxes[0];
long& numberOfRows = naxes[1];
long nelements(1);
// Find the total size of the array.
// this is a little fancier than necessary ( It's only
// calculating naxes[0]*naxes[1]) but it demonstrates use of the
// C++ standard library accumulate algorithm.
nelements = std::accumulate(&naxes[0],&naxes[naxis],1,std::multiplies<long>());
// create a new image extension with a 300x300 array containing float data.
std::vector<long> extAx(2,300);
string newName ("NEW-EXTENSION");
ExtHDU* imageExt = pFits->addImage(newName,FLOAT_IMG,extAx);
// create a dummy row with a ramp. Create an array and copy the row to
// row-sized slices. [also demonstrates the use of valarray slices].
// also demonstrate implicit type conversion when writing to the image:
// input array will be of type float.
std::valarray<int> row(vectorLength);
for (long j = 0; j < vectorLength; ++j) row[j] = j;
std::valarray<int> array(nelements);
for (int i = 0; i < numberOfRows; ++i)
array[std::slice(vectorLength*static_cast<int>(i),vectorLength,1)] = row + i;
// create some data for the image extension.
long extElements = std::accumulate(extAx.begin(),extAx.end(),1,std::multiplies<long>());
std::valarray<float> ranData(extElements);
const float PIBY (M_PI/150.);
for ( int jj = 0 ; jj < extElements ; ++jj)
float arg = PIBY*jj;
ranData[jj] = std::cos(arg);
long fpixel(1);
// write the image extension data: also demonstrates switching between
// HDUs.
//add two keys to the primary header, one long, one complex.
long exposure(1500);
std::complex<float> omega(std::cos(2*M_PI/3.),std::sin(2*M_PI/3));
pFits->pHDU().addKey("EXPOSURE", exposure,"Total Exposure Time");
pFits->pHDU().addKey("OMEGA",omega," Complex cube root of 1 ");
// The function PHDU& FITS::pHDU() returns a reference to the object representing
// the primary HDU; PHDU::write( <args> ) is then used to write the data.
// PHDU's friend ostream operator. Doesn't print the entire array, just the
// required & user keywords, and is provided largely for testing purposes [see
// readImage() for an example of how to output the image array to a stream].
std::cout << pFits->pHDU() << std::endl;
return 0;