Solar UK Research Facilty (SURF)
UCL - Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Welcome to the Solar UK Research Facility

SURF - SolarSoft

Software used at the SURF

The Solar UK Research Facility supports a complete installation of SolarSoft, the analysis software that can be used for most solar data. The Facility is closely involved with other institutes with the ongoing development of the SolarSoft project.


SolarSoft is a set of integrated software libraries, data bases, and system utilities which provides a "common" programming and data analysis environment for Solar Physics. The SolarSoftWare (SSW) system is built from Yohkoh, SoHO, TRACE, HESSI, SDAC and Astronomy libraries and draws upon contributions from many members of those projects. It is primarily an IDL based system, although some instrument teams can and do integrate executables written in other languages.

Detailed information about SolarSoft   can be found in a series of Web pages - these include pages mirrored from Lockheed-Martin (Palo Alto, California) and elsewhere. The pages include information on how to install and upgrade the SolarSofttree. The main entry points are:

  • SolarSoft: General Description
  • SolarSoft: Installation and Upgrades
  • SolarSoft: Setup - Running SSW IDL 

SolarSoft can be installed by answering questions on a simple Installation Form. This creates a script file that is e-mailed to you; the tar files needed for the installation are copied from either from the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), or the SURF. Please contact us if you need any assistance.

If you are interested in installing the Yohkoh analysis software, this should be done through SolarSoft. It is possible to install all or part of the SolarSoft tree - it is an extensive tree and a complete installation requires a lot of disk space. If you are only interested in the Yohkoh analysis software, request only that part of the tree.

NEW: SolarSoft on a Mac

As of August 2006, a number of people in the Solar & Stellar Group (UCL-MSSL) have successfully installed IDL and SolarSoft on both PowerPC and Intel CoreDuo Macintosh systems. The resulting installation guide (hastily named Sunshine? to comply with UCL's new document-naming ethos) is available by clicking any of the links below:


Mullard Space Science Laboratory - Holmbury St. Mary - Dorking - Surrey - RH5 6NT - Telephone: +44 (0)1483 204100 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

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