1.3 Organization of the CookBook

1.3.1 Contents

Chapter 2 of the CookBook describes in general terms how to get started in AIPS — signing up, logging in, mounting tapes, etc. Appendix Z gives details of these operations specific to NRAO’s AIPS sites. Your local AIPS Manager may be able to provide a version of this appendix appropriate to your system. Chapter 3 introduces the basic AIPS utilities. Chapter 4 leads you through the basics of reading in and calibrating your modern VLA uv data. Chapter 5 explains the basic operations required to make and improve images. Appendices A, B, and C provide simpler recipe-like approaches to calibration and imaging which beginning users may wish to try. Chapter 6 introduces the basic AIPS tools for making interactive and hard-copy displays of images and other data and Chapter 7 describes tools for analyzing them. Chapter 8 and Appendix B contain hints and further AIPS tools of particular interest, but not restricted, to spectral-line users and other observers who have images of more than 2 dimensions. Appendix O is designed for users of the historic VLA archive and for older VLBI formats. Similarly, Chapter 9 and Appendix C are aimed primarily at users of VLB interferometers. Chapter 10 deals with single-dish data reduction with AIPS. Chapter 11 describes how to help the AIPS programmers, to backup your data, and to exit from AIPS. It also suggests some cures for common hang-ups and miscellaneous “disasters” which seem to afflict AIPS users. No such list can be made comprehensive or sufficiently general to cover all the computer systems now running AIPS. You will need to consult with your local AIPS Manager or other users if you encounter an unlisted problem.

Chapter 12 is intended for the “mature” AIPS user who wishes to learn about data formats, procedures, RUN files, and various subtleties of AIPS syntax. We recommend that you read this after becoming familiar with the operations described in Chapters 3 through 7. Chapter 13 contains lists of all available routines broken down by categories. Appendix G presents Fred Schwab’s Glossary of radio astronomy data processing terminology. Appendix F gives some useful recipes for estimating disk files sizes and for saving data and images on tape. Appendix V contains information about tasks used to maintain the VLA, including holography of dish surfaces. Appendix I contains the index.

1.3.2 Minimum match

In this CookBook, we use the minimum-matching capability of AIPS to abbreviate the instructions needed to run the programs. This speeds up your activity at the terminal while working in AIPS. However, the full names of some of the AIPS instructions may be easier to learn and to remember. They are given in Chapter 13.

1.3.3 Fonts and what they signify

Throughout this CookBook, RESPONSES TO BE TYPED BY THE USER APPEAR IN THE PRESENT FONT. Prompts provided by the operating or AIPS systems are left-justified on the same line, e.g., system prompts $ on VAXes or % on UNIX systems , AIPS prompt >. THIS IS THE FONT USED FOR SAMPLE OUTPUTS FROM THE COMPUTER and for program names such as PRTUV. A lower-case italic font, such as this, is used for numeric and character parameter values which must be supplied by the user. The symbol AIPS refers to the program which you will use to communicate with the computer. The symbol AIPS refers to the full system, made up of the AIPS program, numerous other programs which may be run from AIPS, and the hardware configuration. The symbol  C R means “hit the RETURN or Enter key on the terminal.”

The symbol  means Section and refers to the various chapters and sub-chapters of this CookBook. Except in the values assigned to character string variables, AIPS is case insensitive. We use upper-case letters in this CookBook to differentiate AIPS symbols from ordinary words visually. This usage also allows us to generate html and pdf capable versions of the CookBook from the basic TE X files automatically.