IDL is our primary data reduction software. We have now implemented a fully automated reduction pipeline. It processes over 700 stars per night using 5-800 images per night.
MaximDL is used to control the Apogee AP7b, AO-7 tip-tilt mirror and ST7 for tracking with the AO-7. Doug George at Cyanogen made some custom changes to the software for spectroscopy that work well.
Quick Fringe is our "can't live without" fringe analysis software. The JPG image of the fringes is imported into this program and it automatically traces the fringes and gives you multiple graphs showing the mirror figure. Used in conjunction with our interferometer we can measure to a fraction of a wavelength just like the big boys!
ACP from DC-3 Dreams is our choice for telescope control software. Bob Denny is promoting the open software concept through ASCOM so all our programs can talk to each other.
Quantum Image. This little-known software package from Europe gets high marks for ease of use, great interface and powerful features. We highly recommend you check it out.
Labview from National Instruments. Widely used as machine control software, this innovative programming language uses icons and wiring diagrams to do all the functions of a regular programming language. In our application it records pulses from the Phot Multiplier Tube and the various temperatures in and around the spectrograph enclosure.
IRAF. This is the astronomy package of choice for almost all professional astronomers. It is not one package but a collection of 50-plus programs that are designed to work together. It runs on a PC-based LINUX package (RedHat). Not for the faint of heart, but it is learnable, as we can attest. IRAF is capable of doing everything and anything short of planet discovery when it comes to spectral analysis. We now use this task exclusively for flat fielding, cosmic ray removal, cross correlation and calculation of offsets for diurnal and orbital motions.
Microsoft Excel is used to build plots and graphs of observing runs.