31-December-2016 and earlier


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Edgemont Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903–2475
A facility of the National Science Foundation
operated under cooperative agreement by
Associated Universities, Inc.

The CookBook cover design is by Pat Smiley of the NRAO Graphic Arts Department. It is based on a design suggested by John Bally of Bell Labs.

The image on the title page was converted from the AIPS television-like display to Encapsulated PostScript by the AIPS task TVCPS. It was then included in this TE X  document and plotted on a Hewlett Packard PostScript printer. It is the green portion of the digitized image of a Mandrill which has become a standard in the image-processing field. PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

The plot in Chapter 4 was generated with TVCPS in a similar manner. The plots at the ends of Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 were generated by various AIPS plotting tasks with task LWPLA used to convert the device-independent plot files into PostScript. The data displayed in Chapters 6 and 7 were provided by Bill Cotton for use with the AIPS VLAC test suite and by Alan Bridle for use with the AIPS DDT test suite, while the data in Chapter 8 were provided by Don Wells for use in testing spectral-line software. The color plots in Chapter 6 are of data provided by Greg Taylor and by Eric Greisen, Kristine Spekkens, and Gustaaf van Moorsel. The editors thank these people for providing their data for our use.

This CookBook itself is based on an early users guide written by Alan Bridle. In 1983, it was typeset and edited by Eric Greisen using the TE X program, initially developed by Donald E. Knuth (The TE Xbook, 1984, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts). There were two editions of the CookBook in 1983, one in 1985, and one in 1986. The 1990 edition edition was edited by Bill Junor. For recent editions, Eric Greisen has resumed his rôle as editor, while numerous individuals have contributed to the text. In particular, Glen Langston, Andrea Cox, Lorant Sjouwerman, and Minnie Mao have submitted outline guides to VLA continuum, spectral-line, high-frequency, and low frequency data reduction which appear as Appendices A. B, D, and L, respectively. The output of TE X is now converted to PostScript by dvips (from Radical Eye Software). The editors are grateful to Knuth for this program and, especially, for his decision to place it in the public domain.

This CookBook is now available on the Internet via the World-Wide Web. The current Table of Contents together with a revision history for the full 31DEC14 CookBook is available at

http://www.aips.nrao.edu/cook.html      .
You should review this Web page occasionally to see if chapters important to you have been altered and, if so, why. You may use your favorite Web browser to click on any chapter you wish to receive and the PostScript version will (eventually) appear on your workstation. Cross-linked html and pdf versions of the full CookBook are available from this web page as well. The html version is not shipped with AIPS, but the pdf version is shipped to all AIPS installations.
List of Figures
List of Tables
1 Introduction
 1.1 The NRAO AIPS Project — A Summary
 1.2 The CookBook
 1.3 Organization of the CookBook
 1.4 General structure of AIPS
2 Starting Up AIPS
 2.1 Obtaining access to an AIPS computer
 2.2 Using the workstation
 2.3 Managing windows
 2.4 Additional recipes
3 Basic AIPS Utilities
 3.1 Talking to AIPS
 3.2 Your AIPS message file
 3.3 Your AIPS data catalog files
 3.4 Your AIPS history files
 3.5 Saving and restoring inputs
 3.6 Monitoring disk space
 3.7 Moving and compressing files
 3.8 Finding helpful information in AIPS
 3.9 Magnetic tapes
 3.10 AIPS external disk files
 3.11 The array processor
 3.12 Additional recipe
4 Calibrating Interferometer Data
 4.1 Copying data into AIPS multi-source disk files
 4.2 Record keeping and data management
 4.3 Beginning the calibration
 4.4 Assessing the data quality and initial editing
 4.5 Antenna-based complex gain solutions
 4.6 Polarization calibration
 4.7 Spectral-line calibration
 4.8 Solar data calibration
 4.9 Completing the initial calibration
 4.10 Additional recipes
5 Making Images from Interferometer Data
 5.1 Preparing uv data for imaging
 5.2 Basic image making — IMAGR
 5.3 Deconvolving images
 5.4 Self-calibration
 5.5 More editing of uv data
 5.6 Imaging with OBIT
6 Displaying Your Data
 6.1 Getting data into your AIPS catalog
 6.2 Printer displays of your data
 6.3 Plotting your data
 6.4 Interactive TV displays of your data
 6.5 Graphics displays of your data
 6.6 Additional recipes
 6.7 Examples of color plotting
7 Analyzing Images
 7.1 Combining two images (COMB)
 7.2 Combining more than two images (SUMIM, SPIXR, STACK)
 7.3 Image statistics and flux integration
 7.4 Blanking of images
 7.5 Fitting of images
 7.6 Image analysis
8 Spectral-Line Software
 8.1 Data preparation and assessment
 8.2 Editing and self-calibration
 8.3 Continuum subtraction
 8.4 Imaging
 8.5 Display and manipulation of data cubes
 8.6 Analysis
9 Reducing VLBI Data in AIPS
 9.1 VLBI data calibration recipe
 9.2 Pipeline for the VLBA
 9.3 Loading, fixing and inspecting data
 9.4 Tools for data examination
 9.5 Calibration strategy
 9.6 After initial calibration
 9.7 Self-calibration, imaging, and model-fitting
 9.8 Summary of VLBI calibration tables
 9.9 Additional recipe
10 Single-Dish Data in AIPS
 10.1 AIPS format for single-dish data
 10.2 Single-dish data in the “uv” domain
 10.3 Imaging single-dish data in AIPS
 10.4 Analysis and display of single-dish data
 10.5 Combining single-dish and interferometer data
11 Exiting from, and Solving Problems in, AIPS
 11.1 Helping the AIPS programmers
 11.2 Exiting from AIPS
 11.3 Solving problems in using AIPS
 11.4 Additional recipe
12 AIPS for the More Sophisticated User
 12.1 AIPS conventions
 12.2 Process control features of AIPS
 12.3 AIPS language
 12.4 Remote use of AIPS
 12.5 Moving data to a new computer
 12.6 Adding your own tasks to AIPS
 12.7 Additional recipes
13 Current AIPS Software
 13.1 ADVERB
 13.3 AP
 13.5 BATCH
 13.10 EXT-APPL
 13.11 FITS
 13.12 GENERAL
 13.14 IMAGE-UT
 13.15 IMAGE
 13.16 IMAGING
 13.21 ONED
 13.22 OOP
 13.23 OPTICAL
 13.25 PLOT
 13.27 POPS
 13.30 RUN
 13.33 TABLE
 13.34 TAPE
 13.35 TASK
 13.36 TV
 13.37 TV-APPL
 13.38 UTILITY
 13.39 UV
 13.40 VERB
 13.41 VLA
 13.42 VLBI
 13.43 Additional recipes
A Easy Continuum UV-Data Calibration and Imaging
 A.2 Basic calibration
 A.3 Polarization calibration
 A.4 Backup and imaging
 A.5 Additional recipes
B A Step-by-Step Guide to Spectral-Line Data Analysis in AIPS
 B.1 Editing and calibrating spectral-line data
 B.2 Making and Cleaning image cubes
 B.3 Moment analysis and rotation curve of galaxies
 B.4 Multi-frequency observations
 B.5 Additional recipes
C A Step-by-Step Recipe for VLBA Data Calibration in AIPS
 C.1 Quick Guide
 C.2 Table Philosophy
 C.3 Data set assumed in this Appendix
 C.4 VLBA Utilities
 C.5 VLBA Pipeline
 C.6 Data Loading and Inspection
 C.7 Amplitude and Delay Calibration
 C.8 Rate and Phase Calibration
 C.9 Final Calibration Steps
 C.10 Incorporating non-VLBA antennas
 C.11 Pre-EVLA VLA data
 C.12 Summary for non-VLBA antennas
 C.13 Some Useful References
 C.14 Additional recipes
D Hints for Reducing High-Frequency VLA Data in AIPS
 D.1 Additional recipes
E Special Considerations for EVLA Data Calibration and Imaging in AIPS
 E.1 Getting your data into AIPS
 E.2 Initial calibration — VLANT, FRING
 E.3 Initial editing
 E.4 Basic calibration
 E.5 Detailed flagging
 E.6 Calibration with the SysPower table
 E.7 Polarization calibration — RLDLY, PCAL, and RLDIF
 E.8 Target source data — edit and SPLIT
 E.9 Spectral-line imaging hints
 E.10 Continuum imaging hints
L Special Considerations for EVLA P-band Data Processing in AIPS
 L.1 P-band calibration and editing in AIPS
 L.2 P-band imaging in AIPS
 L.3 Additional Recipes
F File Sizes
 F.1 Visibility (uv) data sets
 F.2 Image files
 F.3 Extension files
 F.4 Storing data on tape
 F.5 Very large data sets
 F.6 Additional recipes
Z System-Dependent AIPS Tips
 Z.1 NRAO workstations — general information
 Z.2 AIPS at the NRAO AOC in Socorro
 Z.3 AIPS at the NRAO in Charlottesville and Green Bank
G Glossary