AIPS HELP file for DBCON in 31DEC22
As of Sun Feb 5 3:36:01 2023
DBCON: Task which concatenates two uv data bases .
INNAME Input UV file name (name)
INCLASS Input UV file name (class)
INSEQ 0.0 9999.0 Input UV file name (seq. #)
INDISK 0.0 9.0 Input UV file disk unit #
IN2NAME 2nd input file name.
IN2CLASS 2nd input file class.
IN2SEQ 0.0 9999.0 2nd input file seq. #
IN2DISK 0.0 9.0 2nd input file disk number
REWEIGHT 0.0 Weight factors.
OUTNAME Output UV file name (name)
OUTCLASS Output UV file name (class)
OUTSEQ -1.0 9999.0 Output UV file name (seq. #)
OUTDISK 0.0 9.0 Output UV file disk unit #.
DOPOS If (1,1) true (+1) check pos.
will shift second if nec.
If (2,1) true check freq.
If (1,2)>0 retain input scan
DOARRAY If true (+1) output data will
be the same subarray as input
Forced to +1 for multi-source
FQTOL -1.0 > 0 tolerance to not renumber
FQs of dataset 2 (in kHz)
-1 => no renumbering.
FQCENTER >= 0 -> center frequency axis
Use: To concatenate two uv databases. After concatenation the two
single-source input files are considered (optionally) to consist
of data from separate arrays. The times are offset by the array
number minus 1 times 5 days. Information peculiar to an array is
stored in the AN file whose version number corresponds to the
array number. Use PRTAN to access this information.
For multi-source data files the FQ and source numbers of the
second input file are converted to a system consistent with the
first and the source tables are appended. Also, any CL, FG,
TY, WX, IM, MC, PC, AT, CT, OB, or GC tables with version=1
will have their source numbers translated and appended to the
end of the corresponding table (if any) from the first file.
Any CL tables of version > 1 are copied from the first file;
those belonging to the second file are ignored. The same
happens to all versions (> 1) of BP and SN tables.
Multi-source files are always considered to have the same
array numbers in the two data sets. If the subarrays of one do
not match the subarrays of the other, you should not be using
DBCON on them. Concatenate single-source data after the
separate calibrations and SPLITs have been done. The phases of
the data are not changed for different source positions either.
If the coordinates do not match, the second source name is
If the two input data bases are in the same sort order the
output file will be in the same sort order.
The input data sets may be compressed or normal. If one or
both are compressed, the the output will be compressed. The
reweighting, phase correction, etc may be applied to compressed
as well as uncompressed uv data.
WARNING: IF YOU ARE COMBINING DATA SETS OBSERVED AT DIFFERENT
FREQUENCIES, MUCH OF THE FREQUENCY INFORMATION WILL BE LOST.
THE U-V-W VALUES IN THE DATA WILL BE AS OBSERVED BUT YOU MUST
NEVER RUN A TASK ON THE OUTPUT DATA SET THAT WILL MODIFY U-V-W
SINCE THAT REQUIRES PRECISE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ACTUAL
FREQUENCIES. THIS INCLUDES MOST ESPECIALLY UVFIX.
If you are combining a number of data sets into one, it is
recommended that you avoid repetitive addition of numbers to
the time and subarray number. To do this, have the first file
be the one with the larger number of subarrays each time.
If you have a number of very similar data sets to combine,
task DBAPP may be appropriate.
INNAME.....First input UV file name (name). Standard defaults
INCLASS....First input UV file name (class). Standard defaults
INSEQ......First input UV file name (seq. #). 0 => highest.
INDISK.....Disk drive # of first input UV file. 0 => any.
IN2NAME....Second input UV file name (name). Standard defaults
IN2CLASS...Second input UV file name (class).Standard defaults
IN2SEQ.....Second input UV file name (seq. #). 0 => highest.
IN2DISK....Disk drive # of second input UV file. 0 => any.
REWEIGHT...Weight scaling factors for the first and second uv
data files. 0 => 1.0. See Explain DBCON for an
explanation of how to determine these values.
OUTNAME....Output UV file name (name). Standard defaults
OUTCLASS...Output UV file name (class). Standard defaults
OUTSEQ.....Output UV file name (seq. #). 0 = > highest unique
OUTDISK....Disk drive # of output UV. 0 => highest with space
DOPOS......If the first value (1,1) is true (>0) then the position of
the second is shifted to agree with that of the first data
set. This is always carried out using the correct frequency
for each visibility.
If the second value (2,1) is true then the frequency of
the second data set must agree with that of the first.
Phase shifting is not done for multi-source data sets.
If the third value (1,2) is true, the frequency reference
pixel is set to 1.0. Otherwise it is set to NFREQ/2 + 1;
this centering helps in fringe fitting.
DOARRAY....If true (>0) the output vis. records will have the same
subarray number as the input records. Thus the antenna
numbers must be the same (DBCON does only minimal checks).
The reference days will be adjusted. Also the antenna
file(s) for the second input data base are not copied. If
false (<0) then the time will have (subarray no. - 1) * 5
days added. DOARRAY is forced to TRUE for multi-source
FQTOL......Tolerance for IF frequencies and total bandwidths in kHz
to accept the FQ values as the same in the two data sets.
SPECIAL VALUE: -1 => do not renumber any FQ entries When
combining single-source, single FQ continuum data sets,
this gets it to ignore minor differences, e.g.
0 -> 1 kHz.
FQCENTER,..> 0 => Change frequency axis reference pixel to
Nchan / 2 + 1
else => do not change reference pixel
DBCON: Task to concatenate two data bases.
DOCUMENTOR: Jim Ulvestad NRAO/CV
RELATED PROGRAMS: PRTAN, BTCOP
DBCON is a relatively straightforward program whose sole purpose
in life is to combine two data sets taken at different times, possibly
using different arrays. The problem is that what seems
straightforward for any 2 data sets is not simple in general. The
idea is that these data sets should contain observations of roughly
the same frequency. The data may be obtained in two different
sessions, perhaps with the first data set consisting of old
"resurrected" data to be added to newer data. Combination of
data sets obtained using different arrays may provide increased
uv coverage and a wider range of spacings (hence sensitivity to
a wider range of size scales) than is found in a single set of
If the two data bases have the same sort order then the
two files will be merged so that the output file has the same
Like most adverbs in this program, IN2NAME is reasonbaly
self-explanatory. However, this seems as good a place as any
to mention that IN2NAME does not necessarily have to be data at
exactly the same frequency as the data in INNAME. For example,
in studying polarization and Faraday rotation, it may be
desirable to spend some observing time at 18 cm and some at 20
cm. But the highest sensitivity total intensity map can be
made by combining the two sets of observations into a single
LBAND data base, if the user is willing to accept the
uncertainties caused by spatial variations in spectral index
within the radio source. If IN2NAME consists of data taken at
a time much later or earlier than the data in INNAME, temporal
variations in source properties can also screw things up.
All uv data have associated weights which express the relative
value of the data. Internally, these weights are treated as
statistical weights (i.e. 1 / variance (amplitude)). These weights
are used in making images but are modified by uniform weighting and
tapering. In practice, the weights coming into AIPS from non-AIPS
calibration systems are in arbitrary units so a renormalization of the
weights may be necessary when data sets are combined.
The adverb REWEIGHT can be used to modify the relative weights of
the two input data sets. The simplest way to determine the
appropriate relative weighting is to image each set of data
independently in the same fashion as the desired final image (i.e.
using the same IMSIZE, CELLSIZE, UVWTFN, UVBOX, and UVTAPER but not
necessarily doing a deconvolution). All AIPS imaging tasks report the
"sum of the gridding weights" in the message file. This is the sum of
the weights after all corrections are applied (this value has been
written into the history file since 15JUL89). REWEIGHT is a pair of
values to be multiplied by the input weights for the first (1) and
second (2) input uv data file. These values should be set such that
the two data sets will have the desired relative sum of weights.
For example, if the two data sets before DBCON give a sum of
gridding weights of 1.0E5 and 2.0E2 when imaged by IMAGR AND you wish
to make them contribute equally to the final image then use
REWEIGHT = 1.0,1.0e5/2.0e2 (or 1, 500).
The specified OUTDISK must contain enough empty space to
hold both of the input data sets (see below).
This input provides for the spatial and frequency registering
of the two data sets. If the user wants the second set shifted
so that the phase centers coincide exactly then the first value
DOPOS(1,1) should be set to +1. The default (0) or a negative
value means no shifting is desired. Note: the phase center but
not the tangent point is changed; if large shifts are desired
then UVFIX should be used prior to DBCON to shift the tangent
The value of DOPOS(2,1) is used to specify if the reference
frequencies in the two headers should be checked, if there is
more than one frequency channel present. A value of +1 means
that the frequencies at pixel 1 should agree to better than
0.1 percent of the first frequency. This option should be used for
combining spectral line data as this tolerance allows for
changes in the doppler tracking. For combining continuum data,
i.e., multiple-frequency data sets to be used for bandwidth
synthesis a zero or negative value of DOPOS(2,1) will disable
this check, which is unnecessary in this case.
This input allows the user to force DBCON not to mark the
output data as subarrays unless the input data was already
divided into subarrays. The user should be sure that the two
input data bases do in fact have the same antenna numbers refer
to the same antennas. The reference days will be adjusted in
the output uv data file and in the first CL and FG table
associated with each input file.
If DOARRAY is false (<0) then the data to be combined are
marked as separate subarrays. The most visible indicators of
this are that the times of the data will have (subarray no. -
1) * 5 days added and there will be one antenna file per
subarray. The purpose of this time offset is primarily to keep
CALIB and friends from getting confused. If DOARRAY=TRUE then
this time offset is not added.
If the antenna numbers in the data sets to be combined
refer to different physical antennas or the data were obtained
at different times then DBCON should be run with DOARRAY=FALSE.
If the data were obtained with the same antennas at the same
time then it MAY be desirable to use DOARRAY=TRUE.
With DOARRAY=TRUE the task will try to consolidate the
AN tables of the two input files for each AN version number.
This will not be attempted if the two AN table headers
disagree in significant ways (eg array centers do not agree,
different polzn calibration). The output table will be the union
of the two input tables, thus avoiding incomplete AN tables
which sometimes result for VLBI data after using MK3IN or VLBIN.
If the AN tables disagree the table from input file #1 will
be written to the output file. If only file#2 has an AN
table it will be written as a last resort.
Multisource data files are always combined with DOARRAY
If both input files are multisource files the output file
will be also. Single and multi source files cannot be
concatenated at the present. The source numbers of the second
file will be translated to be consistent with the source
numbers of the first table and the source table associated with
the output table should be correct. The source numbers in any
version=1 CL or FG table associated with the second input file
will have a similar translation done and the contents of these
tables appended to the end of a copy the corresponding table
from the first input file. Higher version number tables from
the either input file will not be copied. If necessary TABED
can copy and modify higher numbered tables.
If there is overlap between the CL tables from the first
and second CL tables (usually the case for VLBI but not
otherwise) then the resultant CL table need be compressed using
TAMRG. After DBCON is run, a new index (NX) table needs to be
constructed using INDXR.
It is intended that multisource data bases be concatenated
before a substantial amount of calibration or editing is done.
INTERACTION WITH OTHER PROGRAMS:
The AN file stores the properties (e.g., antenna position)
peculiar to each array in the concatenated data base; this
information can be accessed by using PRTAN.
If CALIB is given data combined by DBCON with DOARRAY=TRUE
then all data within a given solution interval with the same
antenna numbers specifying the baseline are averaged before the
solution. If DBCON was run with DOARRAY=FALSE then CALIB
treats data from each subarray independently. When combining
VLA data from the AC and BD IFs, DOARRAY will determine
whether combined or separate gain solutions are determined for
the two "IF pairs".
This program is unlike the DBCON program at the VLA in
that it offsets the times by 5 day intervals rather than
interleaving them. That process greatly reduces the CPU time
involved. A typical execution time in an otherwise empty VAX
11-780 is about 5 min to concatenate two 50,000 visbility data
The amount of disk space used up by the final data set is
approximately the sum of the disk spaces used by the initial
data sets. A data set containing about 50,000 visibility
records will occupy about 3,500 blocks of disk space.