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The Astronomical Instrumentation Software Specification is intended to provide guidelines for the development of software for astronomical instruments. It is hoped that with this document instrumentation designers will be able to better unify the existing hardware to a point that hardware dependence is not a requirement for software.
The specification takes advantage of the fact that software for astronomical instrumentation has to perform some rudimentary functions, and has to supply the results of these functions so that they are meaningful to the observer. The Specification outlines the data structures, and the functions to operate on those data structures. In order to quantify these structures the conventions of ANSI C will be used, however implementations are not limited to the C language. The specification also requires for each unique class of instrument a driver that can be made available, via static link or dynamic link, to any software program the user desires to build on top of it. This is a strict requirement of the specification.