IDL is a commercial software package by ITT VIS (formerly RSI) providing a fully-featured interactive programming environment, including sophisticated plotting, image analysis, debugging and GUI-building capabilities. As such, it is particularly popular within image-intensive scientific communities such as engineering, geophysics and (last but not the least!) astronomy! Unpleasant as the use of commercial software might be, since its 6.0 release IDL supports saving of compiled code to a format that can be read by the freely-downloadable IDL Virtual Machine, thus the possibility to share your work with anybody, albeit not the chance to allow them to carry out further development. Besides, a thriving community has in time produced a large and varied body of resources and made them available on the web.
NB : software is made available following the Free/Open-Source paradigm, or more exactly following these licensing terms
1) GAIA Galaxy Survey
Here's some of the IDL software I wrote to simulate the performance achievable
by the GAIA Galaxy Survey, an all-sky multi-color
galaxy survey project planned with the GAIA satellite.
Please refer to my Master's Thesis
for a more thorough description of its purpose than it is given in the
psf.pro : Generation and Plotting of GAIA Point Spread Functions
sim_stack.pro : Simulation and Stacking of GAIA Observations of Galaxies
stack_bis.pro : Stacking of GAIA Observations of Galaxies (Alternative Technique)
stack_tris.pro : Stacking of GAIA Observations of Galaxies (Drizzling-like Technique)
2) LARI Method
As part of my PhD Thesis I developed a lot of software aimed at the reduction and analysis of astronomical imaging data obtained by the ISO satellite using the LARI Method. This is now packaged as the LARI Package for ISO-CAM/PHOT Data Reduction and Analysis.
3) myidllib : My Small & Humble IDL Library - Version 0.1
As part of my life-as-an-astronomer's daily grind, I occasionally write software bits which might come in handy to the general astro-folk out there. These are now packaged as myidllib : My Small & Humble IDL Library - Version 0.1
Please contact Mattia Vaccari for further information