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Rework of the ERA software system: ERA-8

D. A. Pavlov, V. I. Skripnichenko

Proceedings of the Journées 2014 “Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels”, Z. Malkin and N. Capitaine (eds), Pulkovo observatory, 243–246 (2015)

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The software system that has been powering many products of the IAA during decades has undergone a major rework. ERA has capabilities for: processing tables of observations of different kinds, fitting parameters to observations, integrating equations of motion of the Solar system bodies. ERA comprises a domain-specific language called SLON, tailored for astronomical tasks. SLON provides a convenient syntax for reductions of observations, choosing of IAU standards to use, applying rules for filtering observations or selecting parameters for fitting. Also, ERA includes a table editor and a graph plotter. ERA-8 has a number of improvements over previous versions such as: integration of the Solar system and TT − TDB with arbitrary number of asteroids; option to use different ephemeris (including DE and INPOP); integrator with 80-bit floating point. The code of ERA-8 has been completely rewritten from Pascal to C (for numerical computations) and Racket (for running SLON programs and managing data). ERA-8 is portable across major operating systems. The format of tables in ERA-8 is based on SQLite. The SPICE format has been chosen as the main format for ephemeris in ERA-8.