Radioastronomy utility.

View the Project on GitHub MLAB-project/radio-observer


Radioastronomy utility. For more information, see the MLAB wiki.

Table of Contents


  1. Install the following libraries:

on Ubuntu run:

sudo apt-get install libfftw3-dev cfitsio-dev libjack-jackd2-dev

  1. Clone the repository using (for instance): git clone
  2. Checkout and build the cppapp submodule:

    $ git submodule init
    $ git submodule update
    $ cd cppapp
    $ make
  3. In the radio-observer directory, run make. The resulting binary, named waterfall, should appear in the project's root directory.

  4. If anything goes wrong, please send me an email with the output at .


The program attempts to read a config file in the user's home directory called .waterfall. Example config file is stored in waterfall/watefall.cfg. You can copy it to your home directory and edit as you like ($ mv waterfall.cfg $HOME/.waterfall).

Ceneral usage

$ waterfall [WAV_FILE]

Without the WAV_FILE argument, waterfall attempts to connect to a jack server and then listen forever to the data sent by Jack. If WAV_FILE is specifed, waterfall uses WAV frontend, reads the WAV file and exits. In either case, the program stores the resulting data in a series of FITS files (snapshots) in its current working directory (the directory from which you run the program).

Currently, the format of the snapshot file name is snapshot_LOCATION_YEAR_MM_DD_HH_mm_ss.fits, where LOCATION is the value of the location configuration option, YEAR is a four-digit year, MM is two-digit month, DD two-digit day and so on.

Despite there being a log_file configuration option, the log is currently written only to the stderr. To append it to a file, do output redirection ($ waterfall 2> your_log_file.log).

Fits file handling: FITS can be converted in png by fits2png script. sudo apt-get install python-pyfits

Use cases


Doxygen documentacion.