LcTools for Data Mining TESS, K2, and Kepler Light Curves

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 12:02

Hello Everyone,

For those of you wishing to data mine light curves from the TESS, K2, and Kepler missions, you might want to consider using LcTools, a large-scale Windows based software system for viewing and analyzing light curves. The system is optimized for processing large numbers of light curves in a fast and efficient manner to facilitate data mining activities.

The LcTools system consists of four major applications -- LcGenerator, LcSignalFinder, LcViewer, and LcReporter.

  * LcGenerator builds light curve files in bulk for use with LcSignalFinder and LcViewer. A typical batch consists of 25,000 to 50,000 files.

  * LcSignalFinder automatically detects and records signals found in a large batch of light curve files either produced by LcGenerator or downloaded from the LcTools website. Signals may be periodic or non-periodic, dips or peaks of any type. The most common types of signals are eclipsing binaries and planetary transits.

  * LcViewer plots light curves graphically and finds, records, measures, displays, and phase folds signals of interest. Using a work group, light curve files can be loaded quickly at the press of a key or button to rapidly iterate though a large batch of files for viewing purposes.

  * LcReporter produces an Excel report listing the user defined signals recorded by LcViewer.

In conjunction with the software, data assets may be downloaded from the LcTools website. Data assets include star list files for use with LcGenerator and pre-built light curve files in large batches for use with LcSignalFinder and LcViewer. Currently for the TESS mission, over 2 million light curve files are available for download in batches of 25,000 files (approx.).

Both the software and data assets are free for registered LcTools users. For more information on the system, see the published research paper and the LcTools Product Description. To request the product for use, please contact me at

Thank you for your time.


Al Schmitt

LcTools Author

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
This looks awesome! Much

This looks awesome! Much easier to use a program that makes it easy to get all the files in one place.

I'll have to get a PC (I'm a Mac user) setup soon and give it a shot.

Thanks for the awesome new tool!

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)
THis sounds really cool,

THis sounds really cool, unfortunately I operate in a linux enviroment.  It appears that I will need a windows machine (by the way I hate indows).  I could not find minimun requirements for a computer; do you know what they are?




Hardware and Software Requirements for Running LcTools

Hi Bob,

Here are the minimim hardware and software requirements:

  • Windows OS (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10). 
  • 2.7 GHz CPU. 
  • 5 GB memory. 
  • 100 GB free disk space. 
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution. 
  • 2-Button mouse or equivalent. 
  • High-speed Internet connection. 
  • Microsoft Word.
  • Microsoft Excel (if using LcReporter).

The requirements can also be found in Chapter 6 of the the LcTools Product Description and Appendix A of my LcTools research paper.

Some people running under different operating systems such as the Mac OS and Linux have tried using Windows emulators or Windows partitions. I know of one person that is currently running LcTools under Wine for Linux. I have no experience with these emulators and so cannot say how well they work or how much work is involved in getting them set up.

One thing you could do is to find someone with a Windows PC, install LcTools on that computer, and then try it out. If you like what you see, then you can consider your long term options.