The Python programs offered here provide tools for processing image data with high precision, in a flexible system useful for astronomical and laboratory applications. The acronym Alsvid is also an old Norse name meaning ``Very Quick'' for one of the two horses who pull the Chariot of Sol across the sky. It is named in tribute to Zane, a rescued thoroughbred and friend, who shared his enjoyment of life and adventure, loved to run fast, and brought many unexpected surprises.
Alsvid provides a code base for scripted server processing of astronomical images, and also for interactive command line processing for research and visualization. It should be used in combination with AstroImageJ's graphical interactivity, visualization, and high precision photometry.
Python is a modern programming language widely used for basic research and engineering. Its rapid rise in popularity is supported by comprehensive, largely open-source, contributions from scientists who use it for their own work. Astronomers and physicists have found that it is a powerful alternative to commercial software, and to legacy systems developed before modern computing environments became available on every desktop. Python is available for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems at no cost from many sources.
Alsvid routines are based on standard libraries. It is not a library in itself, but a collection of command line programs that could replace IRAF and IDL routines, or offer a template for your own special applications when scripted or customized image processing is required.