AIPS HELP file for CALIBRAT in 31DEC22
As of Fri Jun 2 13:07:25 2023
For a list of adverbs, verbs, and tasks in AIPS related to the
calibration of interferometric data, enter
To learn about the process of calibration, read on.
The AIPS Calibration and Editing System
The AIPS calibration and editing system works mainly with
multi-source, time ordered, indexed "raw" uv data files and the
associated tables that describe the data and also contain calibration
and editing information. When the user is satisfied with the
calibration and editing (or is simply exhausted) task SPLIT is used to
apply the calibration and editing tables and to write single-source uv
files for the imaging, deconvolution, and self-calibration routines.
The more important tables used are summarized below:
Code Name Use
==== =========== ==============================================
AN Antenna Keep subarray geometric information, time info
BL Baseline Contains baseline dependent "Correlator"
BP Bandpass Contains the bandpass correction tables.
CL Calibration Contains calibration information and the model
values which has been applied to the data.
FG Flag Contains flagging information.
FQ Frequency Contains frequency offsets for "IF"s.
NX Index Indexes the file for rapid access.
SN Solution Contains CALIB solutions.
SU Source Contains source specific information
The general utility routines for managing AIPS tables include
TACOP, TABED, TAMRG, PRTAB, TAPLT, TAFLG and SETJY. All of these
tables can be written to FITS files, and thus may be archived. CL and
SU tables occur only with multi-source data sets, the others may also
arise on single-source data sets.
Multi-source UV data files
Many operations needed for calibrating and editing data are
simplified if the data for all of the sources involved are contained
in the same file. For this reason, AIPS allows "multi-source" uv data
files. These files differ from single-source files by the inclusion
of a SOURCE random parameter (visible via IMHEAD) and by the presence
of Source (SU), Calibration (CL) and Index (NX) tables. Note that a
file in "multi-source" format may contain the data for only one
Most AIPS tasks will process uv data files in either multi- or
single-source format. The details of the operation may depend on the
format of the input file. Since multi-source files must be in time
order, some sort-order-sensitive tasks (e.g. UVMAP) will refuse to
process multi-source data. This is usually desirable as they cannot
distinguish between sources! A few multi-source tasks, especially
clCAL and CLCOR, must have a multi-source input file.
There are several ways to obtain a multi-source uv data file:
- Read a multi-source FITS file with UVLOD or FITLD
- Read a VLA Modcomp tape with FILLM.
- Read an NRAO/SAO format file(s) with VLBIN followed by
(possibly DBCON, UVSRT, UVAVG, TAMRG and) INDXR.
- Convert one or more single-source files to multi-source format
using MULTI then follow with (possibly DBCON and) INDXR.
General Method of Calibration
See the AIPS CookBook Chapter 4 for a more detailed explanation.
The heart of the general calibration is task FRING which will
solve for group delays and phase delay rates followed bytask CALIB
which will solve for antenna based amplitudes, and phases. The model
used may be one of the following: 1) point model specified, 2) "clean"
model or 3) point sources at the phase center with flux densities
given by the source (SU) table. Method 3 is the only one allowed if
solutions for more than one calibrator are being determined in the
same run of CALIB. CALIB may however be run multiple times, once for
each calibrator. In that case, each run of CALIB makes a separate
solution (SN) table, and the solution tables are merged as they are
interpolated into the calibration (CL) table by CLCAL. If old SN
tables are to be ignored, they should be deleted using the verb
If CPARM(3 and/or 4) is specified then CALIB will list all
baselines in each solution interval which disagree with the model by
more than the specified amount. These "closure" error listings are
useful in the identification of bad data. Data may be edited and have
a previous calibration applied before determining the solutions. Flux
densities for the calibrator sources may be entered in the SU table
using the task SETJY.
The flux densities of secondary flux calibrator sources may be
determined from the solution tables using GETJY. If CALIB has been
run on both primary and secondary calibrators, GETJY will determine
the source flux densities, put them into the source table and correct
the amplitudes in the SN tables to what they would have been had the
flux densities been in the SU table prior to running CALIB.
Solution tables may be concatenated and smoothed using task
CLCAL. CLCAL may also interpolate the smoothed, concatenated
solutions to the times of a calibration (CL) table and either update
the CL table or write a new table. Up to 46655 CL tables are allowed.
It is a good idea to create a new CL table each time, as this allows
you to return to earlier stages of the calibration if anything goes
wrong. CLCOR may be run several times writing to the same CL table
using different groups of sources and calibrators. It is strongly
recommended that CL table 1 never be modified, as the calibration
process can then be restarted by returning to CL table 1. (CLCAL and
some other tasks will actually refuse to modify CL table 1, for this
reason). Various combinations of sources and calibrators to be used
may be specified in CLCAL.
It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that an
appropriate set of SN tables is applied to the appropriate CL table at
each step of calibration. Incorrect application of SN tables will
probably result in mis-calibrated data.
Various corrections (such as phase jumps) or external calibration
(e.g. weather related corrections) may entered directly into the CL
table by tasks CLCOR, TABED, or APCAL. SN and CL tables may be listed
using LISTR with OPTYPE='GAIN' or plotted with SNPLT.
A given calibration table can optionally be applied in many of
the calibration and editing related tasks. IMAGR can also apply the
calibratio and flagging to image a source (1 only) from a multi-source
data set. Calibrated single-source files may be generated using task
SPLIT. SPLIT will also perform several useful operations on
single-source files such as applying a solution (SN) table or
averaging spectral channels.
General Data Editing and Examination
The task LISTR will print selected portions of the data in
several forms with calibration and editing optionally applied. LISTR
can also be used to display information from solution or calibration
tables and to give a summary of the observations in a multi-source uv
POSSM will average spectra given a set of data selection criteria
and produce a plot on the TV or in a file. This plot file may then be
displayed on any of the plot output devices. UV data files may be
gridded into an image using UVIMG for examination on the TV display.
Time-baseline displays should be particularly useful for spotting bad
Task UVFLG can be used to specify data to be ignored. For
single- and multi-source files entries are made in the flag (FG)
table. UVFLG may also be used to unflag data. Data may be
flagged/unflagged for a specified reason which makes it easy
to undo selected sets of flags. Most of the calibration and
editing routines let you specify which flag table (if any) to
apply toUV data files.
The generalized, interactive TV-based data editor (TVFLG) is now
available. Interactive editors that emphasize the spectral nature of
modern data include SPFLG and FTFLG. The automatic editor RFLAG tries
to find RFI by its rapid variation in the time and spectral domains.
General polarization calibration
The calibration of polarization sensitive visibility data
involves two distinct operations: 1) determination of the effective
feed responses and the correction of the data to remove the effects of
imperfect feeds and 2) removal of any systematic phase offsets between
the two systems of orthogonal polarization. These two components of
polarization calibration will be considered separately.
The effective feed response can be parameterized in a number of
ways; the most general is in terms of its polarization ellipticity and
the orientation of the major axis of the ellipse. Another
parameterization which is adequate when all feeds involved are
relatively good and of similar design is a linear approximation in
which the response to a given polarization is assumed corrupted by a
small complex gain times the orthogonal polarization. Both of these
methods are to be implemented in the task PCAL; the selection is made
by the adverb SOLTYPE.
In general, the polarization of the calibrator(s) to be used to
determine the feed parameters will not be known a priori and must be
determined simultaneously with the feed parameters. Observations of a
given source over a wide range of parallactic angles is necessary to
separate calibrator polarization from the feed parameters. Task LISTR
may be used to determine the parallactic angles at which a given
source has been observed. Several calibrators sources may be
Accurate calibration of data to be used to estimate the feed
parameters is essential. In particular, the phase calibration of any
calibrator to be used should be determined from the calibrator itself
The values of the feed parameters determined depend on any
systematic phase offsets between the orthogonal polarization systems.
If the phase offsets are time variable then they must be corrected
before determining the feed parameters; if the phase offset is
constant then it may be removed after determining the feed parameters.
In this latter case, the derived feed parameters must be corrected for
the change in the phase offset.
The normal phase calibration technique treats parallel-hand
visibilities in the two orthogonal polarizations independently. Thus,
there will be a systematic phase difference between the two
polarizations systems. This difference may be due to differences in
instrumental phase delay for the two systems or an effect of the
propagation medium (Faraday rotation) or both. Faraday rotation
effects are particularly bothersome as they may be rapidly time
variable and increase rapidly towards lower frequency.
The phase offsets at a given time may be determined from data
from a source with a known angle of linear polarization which have had
the effects of imperfect feeds removed. The phase of the right-left
correlations or the conjugate of the left right correlations indicates
the phase difference between the two systems.
Polarization calibration in AIPS follows amplitude and phase
calibration and proceeds as follows: 1) any time variable component of
the phase difference between the right and left hand systems must be
removed by suitable modifications of the appropriate CL table or
direct correction of the data for single source files. The CL tables
may be modified using CLCOR.
2) PCAL is run to determine the polarization of a set of
calibrators and the feed parameters. The derived calibrator
polarizations are placed in the Source (SU) table and the feed
parameters are placed in the AN table (or spectral-channel based
solutions in a PD table). AIPS tasks which apply the standard
calibration (e.g. LISTR, SPLIT) can then be instructed to apply
polarization corrections using DOPOL=true.
3) A constant phase difference between the right and left
hand circular systems may be determined for each IF with the task
RLDIF using a source of known polarization angle which has been phase
calibrated on itself. The expected RL phase is twice the polarization
4) Corrections to the RL phase difference (1 per IF) may be made
to the CL table and the feed parameters in the AN tables using task
RLDIF or later with CLCOR. AIPS tasks which apply the standard
calibration (e.g. LISTR, SPLIT) can then be instructed to apply
polarization corrections using DOPOL=true.
General bandpass calibration
The calibration of spectral-line and modern continuum data is
very similar to that of older continuum data with the exception that
the frequency response of the antenna gains have to be determined and
corrected for in addition to the normal gain solutions. This complex
bandpass response function is usually determined by observing a strong
continuum source at the same frequency as the line observation.
The task BPASS is designed to take visibilty data from a
specified calibrator(s) and to determine the antenna-based complex
bandpass functions. It does this in a manner analagous to self-cal in
that the data are divided by a source model and then the antenna gains
are determined as a function of frequency. These are written to a
BandPass (BP) table and can then be applied to the data by a variety
The BP tables are applied to the data by setting the adverb DOBAND
> 0 and selecting the relevant BP table with the adverb BPVER. There are
five modes of bandpass application. The first (DOBAND = 1) will average
all bandpasses for each antenna within the time range requested thus
generating a global solution for each antenna; the second mode
(DOBAND=2) will use the antenna bandpasses nearest in time to the data
point being calibrated; the third, and most cpu intensive, mode
(DOBAND=3) is to interpolate in time between the antenna bandpasses and
generate the correction from the interpolated data. Modes 4 and 5 are
like modes 2 and 3 (resp.) but ignore the bandpass solution weights
which are used in modes 2 and 3.
Calibration of VLA data (continuum)
The AIPS calibration and editing facilities have a basic design
similar to the calibration and editing system on the ancient VLA
Dec-10. The general correspondences between Dec-10 tasks and tables
and their AIPS counterparts are summarized in the following table:
Dec-10 AIPS Function
====== ===== =============================================
ANTSOL CALIB Determine antenna based calibration and write
SN solution table.
" GETJY Determine source fluxes from SN table.
DBCON DBCON Concatenate uv data files.
FLAGER UVFLG Flag bad uv data.
FILLER FILLR Load data from a Modcomp tape before Jan 88.
FILLM Load data from a Modcomp tape after Jan 88.
GTBCAL CLCAL Apply solutions from (ANTSOL/CALIB) to
GTBCOR CLCOR Apply corrections to gain/calibration table.
LISTER LISTR Print selected portions of a uv data file.
PASSUM POSSM Average spectra in uv plane.
POLCAL PCAL Determine polarization calibration parameters.
SETJY SETJY Enter source info into source table.
====== ===== ==============================================
.CAL SN Table containing antenna-based solutions for
interpolation into gain (calibration) table
.GAI CL Table containing gain corrections to be
applied to data.
.NDX NX Index table for rapid access to selected
portions of data.
The following procedure is recommended for calibrating VLA
data: **** The following is an out-of-date description. The AIPS
CookBook, particularly Chapter 4 and Appendix O (for old VLA data)
are recommended instead. ***********
1) Load data from tape.
Data observed before January 1988:
Read data from a VLA Modcomp tape with FILLR. The CL table
increment DPARM(8) should be appropriate for the configuration,
frequency and weather at the time of observation. Two (2)
minutes should be appropriate for many circumstances.
The AC correlator data will be written as AIPS IF 1; the
BD data will be AIPS IF 2 and will be kept in the same uv data
file. These may be selected by BIF and EIF in many of the
Data observed after January 1988:
Use task PRTTP to obtain an index of the tape or tapes to be
read. Data may be loaded 1 band at a time using FILLM. If the
number of output visibilities specified (NPOINTS) is
sufficiently large (see PRTTP listings), then data from multiple
tapes can be written into the same AIPS file by specifying
OUTNAME, OUTSEQ and leaving NPOINTS the same. Tapes should be
loaded in the correct time order. Multiple output
files may be written if necessary, e.g. separate files for
"channel 0" and line data are written. A subset of the
spectral channels may be selected using BCHAN and ECHAN.
The CL table increment DPARM(8) should be appropriate for
the configuration, frequency and weather at the time of
observation. Two to five minutes should be appropriate for
many circumstances. The AC correlator data will be written as
AIPS IF 1; the BD data will be AIPS IF 2 and will be kept in
the same uv data file. These may be selected by BIF and EIF
in many of the calibration/editing tasks.
2) Enter the flux density of the primary flux density
calibrator (usually 3C286, or 3C48) in the SU table using SETJY.
Use ZEROSP = flux,0 if only the I flux density is known. One
run of SETJY is required for each source and each IF, despite
what you might think from the presence of a SOURCES input, as
ZEROSP can handle only one (I,Q,U,V) flux set at a time.
Setting the CALCODE allows selection by this parameter later.
The flux densities of 3C286 and 3C48 on the scale of Baars
et al. (1977, Astron. Astrophys. 61,99) are given in the VLA
Calibrator Manual (Sep. 1986) as:
Log S = 1.480 + 0.292 * Log v -0.124 * (Log v)**2
Log S = 2.345 + 0.071 * Log v -0.138 * (Log v)**2
where S = flux density in Jy and v is Frequency in MHz. These
values at a few selected frequencies are:
Frequency (MHz) S 3C286 (Jy) S 3C48 (Jy)
=============== ============ ============
1465 14.51 15.37
1680 13.55 13.76
4885 7.41 5.36
14765 3.48 1.75
15035 3.44 1.71
22485 2.53 1.09
3) Use LISTR with DOCRT=FALSE to print the scan-averaged raw
data for all primary and secondary calibrators in matrix format.
Use OPTY='MATX', DOCALIB=FALSE, DPARM=3,1,0 (for amplitude,
r.m.s., ampscalar averaging) or DPARM=5,1,0 (for amplitude,
phase, ampscalar averaging). Separate runs must be made for the
two IFs, using BIF=1 and BIF=2.
4) Use UVFLG to specify any data to be flagged. Use FLAGVER=1.
TVFLG may be used as an alternative to steps 3 & 4. One warning,
most users should set FLAGVER to 1 in the flagging step, this
ensures that all the flagging information is written into the
same FG table and is not spread between several tables as can
happen if multiple editing passes are made.
5) Determine calibrator solutions using CALIB. Remain calm!
CALIB isn't really as bad as it looks. Most of the inputs
can be left at null (default) values. Use RESTORE 0
to set defaults, or set DOCALIB=FALSE, FLAGVER=1, SMODEL=0,
DODELAY=FALSE, SOLINT=0, APARM=0, SOLTYPE='', SOLMODE='',
CPARM=0, ANTWT=0 and CLR2NAME. The only parameters you must
then specify are the input uv file (use GETNAME), CALSOUR (set
to the names of your calibrators), UVRANGE or ANTENNAS
(if restricting the solution for your calibrators by
uv distance or antenna number) and REFANT (if possible, choose
a stable antenna near the center of the array that was present
throughout your observations).
Separate runs of CALIB must be made if different calibrators
need different values of UVRANGE or ANTENNAS (usually the case)
or if a source model other than a point model is to be used.
Multiple calibrators may be processed in a given run of CALIB
if the same UVRANGE and ANTENNAS is appropriate. Each run of
CALIB will produce a separate SN table.
IMPORTANT: If a run of CALIB is redone, the previous SN
table corresponding to that run should be deleted using EXTDEST.
LISTR with OPTYPE='GAIN' may be used to determine which
calibrators are present in a given SN table.
The closure error listing option in CALIB may be useful in
the identification of bad data. Use CPARM(3)=5, CPARM(4)=5 to
obtain listings of all calibrator data differing from the model
by more than 5 percent in amplitude and 5 degrees of phase. PRTMSG
may be used to obtain a hardcopy of this information.
Both 3C286 and 3C48 are resolved by the VLA in some
configurations and frequencies. Point models for these sources
are therefore only accurate over a limited range of baseline
length. The range of baseline length used can be controlled by
the adverb UVRANGE. If there are too few baselines to a given
antenna, accurate solutions may not be possible; therefore, it
is frequently necessary to limit the antennas used to the inner
antennas on each arm. (The antenna pad numbers which include
the order number from the array center on each arm can be
determined by running PRTAN). The VLA Calibrator Manual
suggests the following sets of UVRANGE (in kilolamda) and inner
number of antennas.
Band UVRANGE Array No. ant. per arm Notes
==== =========== ===== ================ =================
20cm 0-35 A 7
" B,C,D All
6cm 0-50 A 3
" B,C,D All
2cm 0-60 A 1 Not recommended
" B 3
" C,D All
1.3cm 0-68 A 1 Not recommended
" B 3
" C,D All
Band UVRANGE Array No. ant. per arm Notes
==== =========== ===== ================ =================
20cm 0-18 A 4
" B,C,D All
90-180 A All Reduce flux 6 percent
6cm 0-25 A 1 Not recommended
" B 4
" C,D All
150-300 A All Reduce flux 2 percent
2cm 0-150 A 3
" B,C,D All
1.3cm 0-180 A 2
" B 7
" C,D All
The values of UVRANGE for each secondary calibrator may be
determined from the VLA Calibrator manual or by using UVPLT to
plot the amplitudes as a function of baseline length.
6) Determine the flux densities of the secondary calibrators
using GETJY. GETJY reads the SU and SN tables to determine the
flux densities of the secondary calibrators, enters the values
in the SU table and corrects the SN tables. The fitted values
are listed on the message terminal and written to the message
To run GETJY set INNAME etc. using GETNAME, SOURCES='list of
secondary calibrators', CALSOUR='primary flux density
calibrator(s)', QUAL=-1, CALCODE='', TIMERANGE=0, SUBARRAY=0
7) Apply SN table(s) from CALIB to CL table 1 writing CL table
2 using CLCAL. Use SOURCES=(list of program source names),
CALSOUR=(list of phase calibrators), OPCODE='CALI', GAINVER=1,
GAINUSE=2, REFANT=reference antenna desired. If there are
several groups of sources and calibrators, each group should be
processed in a separate run of CLCAL, all writing to CL table 2.
If all calibrators are to be used and the calibrator codes are
given in the SU table set CALSOUR='', CALCODE='*'.
8) Examine calibrated data using LISTR. Use as in 3) above but
use DOCALIB=TRUE, GAINUSE=2. Alternately, UVIMG can be used to
grid the uv data into a form that it can be displayed on a
television device. Use UVFLG to flag data if necessary.
Also, TVFLG may be used to interactively edit the data set.
9) Use SPLIT to calibrate and edit the data into single-source
uv data files. Use SOURCE='' (or specify sources
individually), STOKES='',DOCAL=TRUE, GAINUSE=2, APARM=0.
AC and BD data may be separated, if desired, using BIF and EIF.
Polarization Calibration of VLA data
Polarization calibration may be performed on amplitude and
phase calibrated VLA data using the following procedure:
1) Run PCAL on one or more phase calibrator sources observed
with a wide range of parallactic angles. Set INNAME etc. to
the input multisource file, CALSOUR=list of calibrators to use,
TIMERANG=0, ANTENNAS=0, UVRANGE=(appropriate range),
DOCALIB=TRUE, GAINUSE=CL table to use, CLR2N (to clear IN2NAME
etc.), PMODEL=0, SOLINT=2, SOLTYPE='APPR', PRTLEV=0,
REFANT=reference antenna, CPARM=0.
2) Use LISTR to determine to apparent RL phase angle of the
polarization angle calibrator source (e.g. 3C286). Use
OPTYPE='MATX', DOPOL=TRUE, STOKES='POLC', SOURCE='(polarization
angle calibrator)', DOCAL=TRUE, GAINUSE=(appropriate CL table,
the source should be phase calibrated on itself only),
UVRANGE=(appropriate range for source/frequency/array),
ANTENNAS=(appropriate list for array/frequency), FLAGVER=1,
DPARM=1,0. LISTR needs to be run once per IF specifying BIF.
The matrix averaged RL phase angle will be printed after the
matrix of phases. Check that none of the phases differ from
the mean by more than a few degrees. If any do then use UVFLG
to edit this data and go back to step 1. Special care will be
needed if the average is near +/- 180 degrees as the average
value given may not be reliable.
3) Use TACOP to copy the CL table with the results of the
amplitude and phase calibration. (Note: this step is not
essential but reduces the magnitude of the disaster if the
the next step is done incorrectly.) Set INNAME, OUTNAME etc.
to point to the relevant file, INEXT='CL'; INVER=(result of
amplitude and phase calibration), OUTVER=(current highest + 1).
4) The RL phase offset corrections can be made using task CLCOR.
The phase offset correction is the expected value (66 deg for
3C286) minus the observed phase from step 2. Set INNAME etc.
to point to the file whose CL and AN tables are to be corrected,
SOURCE='', STOKES='L', BIF=1, EIF=2, TIMERANG=0, ANTENNAS=0,
SUBARRAY=1, GAINVER=(CL table just created by TACOP),
OPCODE='POLR', BPARM=(RL phase corrections, 1 per IF in order).
Note: if more than one CL table needs to be corrected, use the
OPCODE='POLR' option only once; other CL tables should be
corrected using OPCODE='PHAS' and correcting 1 IF at a time.
Correction applied by CLCOR are cumulative; multiple runs with
OPCODE='POLR' may result in invalid feed parameters in the AN
table or incorrect RL phase offsets in the CL table.
5) Use DOPOL=TRUE in SPLIT or LISTR to apply polarization
corrections before copying the data to a single source file or
listing the data.
Calibration of VLA line data
The calibration of VLA line data follows closely the recipe
laid out in the section on VLA continuum calibration. However
there are are number of steps which are different so below is
listed the recipe recommended for the calibration of line data.
1) Reading the data. If your data are on a VLA Modcomp tape then
they should be read into AIPS using FILLM, as descibed in C(1)
(C(1) means the continuum calibration description above, section
(1)). FILLM will fill a typical line observation into two files,
a large one containing the line data only, and a smaller file
containing the "Channel 0" data. Most of the calibration and
editing on performed on channel 0 and the results copied over
to the line database.
2) What if your channel 0 data are meaningless? For instance
if you have observed a maser source which has no associated
continuum emission. In this case you have to follow two
steps. You should still use the channel 0 data for your
calibrator sources to generate the appropriate calibration
tables, but in the editing step you will have to edit the
channel 0 continuum data, and then in a second pass edit
the line data set with examination of the relevant channels.
3) Editing. You should follow the same steps as outlined in
the continuum section, i.e. steps C(3) - C(4), with the caveat
mentioned above. However if all your editing has been done on
the channel 0 case - which is the most common method, the FG
table generated should be copied to the line file. Use TACOP
with INNAME etc set to the channel 0 data, OUTNAME to the line
data, INEXT = 'FG', NCOUNT = 1, INVER and OUTVER should be set
to whatever is appropriate. The KEYVAL, KEYWORD and KEYSTRNG
adverbs should be set to their null values.
There is one problem in this step which will be fixed in the
future, it is that since the flagging was done on the channel 0
data the channel numbers in the FG table are inappropriate for
the line data. This can be fixed using TABED. Set INNAME etc
to the line data, INEXT = 'FG', INVER = 1, OUTVER = 1,
CLRONAME, BCOUNT = 0, ECOUNT = 0 to edit the whole table,
OPTYPE = 'REPL', APARM = 6, 2, 2 to edit column 6, subscript 2
(i.e. the last channel number), KEYVAL = 127,0 for a 127 channel
4) Calibration. The basic calibration steps described in C(5) -
C(8) should then be performed on the channel 0 data. When you
are satisfied with your results you should copy the relevant CL
table over to the line database. Use TACOP with INNAME etc set
to the channel 0 data, OUTNAME to the line data, INEXT = 'CL',
NCOUNT = 1, INVER and OUTVER should be set to whatever is
appropriate. The KEYVAL, KEYWORD and KEYSTRNG adverbs should
be set to their null values.
5) Bandpass correction. This should be performed on calibrated
data; you should ensure that when CLCAL was run in the
calibration stage that your bandpass calibrator was include in
the list of SOURCES. Determine antenna based bandpass response
functions using BPASS. SOURCES=(list of bandpass calibrators),
BCHAN and ECHAN should be left as zero to select the full range,
or can be set if for some reason you only wish to determine the
bandpasses over a small channel range. DOCALIB = 1, GAINUSE =
whichever appropriate, FLAGVER = 1, SOLINT = 0, REFANT=reference
antenna desired, BPVER = 1. All other adverbs should be at
their default values.
BPASS can be used to do more than this simple-minded bandpass
determination, see the HELP/EXPLAIN file for details.
6) Use SPLIT to apply the gain and bandpass calibration and edit
the data into the single-source files necessary for the imaging
tasks. Use SOURCE=(line sources), DOCALIB=1, GAINUSE=whatever,
DOBAND=1, BPVER=1, FLAGVER=1, APARM=0.
If you wish to average subsets of the spectrum into a pseudo-
continuum file you can select the channels using BPARM and
Calibration of VLBI data (continuum)
The details of calibration of VLBI data depend strongly on
the type of data, sources and calibrators (if any) used and
personal preference. The following will suggest a number of
steps which may be needed:
1) Reading the data into an AIPS multi-source file. If the
data are in the NRAO/SAO format, AIPS task VLBIN will read them
directly into a multi-source file. FITS multi-source files may
be read directly by UVLOD. For other sources of data, task
MULTI followed by INDXR may be used to convert single-source to
2) Consolidating the data. If the data for a given experiment
are contained in several files, they may be concatenated using
If the data contain multiple correlations of the same data
then UVSRT and UVAVG can be used to get rid of the redundant
data. The combined CL table can be compressed using TAMRG.
For TAMRG use INEXT='CL',INVER=1, OUTVER=1,
APARM=4,1,4,0,1,1,1,0 BPARM=1,4 CPARM=1.157E-5,0.2
(Re)index the source file using INDXR.
3) Amplitude calibration. ANTAB reads Cal Tech-like text files
containing antenna gain and system temperature information and
places the information in a TY and GC table. These are then
used by APCAL to create an SN table, which is then applied using
4) Fringe fitting. Use CALIB to determine delay and rate
residuals. If calibrators were observed, then solutions may be
determined for them which can then be applied to the program
source(s) before fringe fitting the program source. In either
case, use DOCAL=TRUE and GAINUSE=(the appropriate CL table).
If a CLEAN model is to be used, fill in IN2NAME etc.; otherwise
provide values for SMODEL, or enter source flux densities in
the SU table using SETJY.
Other parameters are CALSOUR=(source name or names
to fringe fit), FLAGVER=1, DODELAY=TRUE, REFANT=desired
reference antenna, SOLINT=(suitable solution time, 0=> scan),
APARM=0, The values of DPARM depend strongly on the source
being processed, and on the expected delay and rate errors.
For program sources with calibrator source solutions applied,
the search windows can be small (remember 0=>Nyquist range).
The values in ANTWT depend on the prior calibration. Use of
APCAL before CALIB may result in data getting appropriate
5) Apply solutions to the calibration table. The results of
CALIB may be examined with LISTR with OPTYPE='GAIN'. If the
results are satisfactory then they may be applied to the CL
table applied in CALIB. CLCAL will optionally smooth the SN
table and apply it to the specified CL table. It is best to
write a new output CL table.
6) Examining/editing the data. Use LISTR with OPTYPE='MATX' or
OPTYPE='LIST' to examine the data. Use DOCALIB=TRUE, GAINUSE=0.
Bad data may be flagged using UVFLG. TVFLG may also be useful.
7) Calibrating and editing data into a single-source file.
SPLIT will apply the calibration and write a single-source file.
Note: CALIB can be used to self calibrate single-source files.