BIMA User Information

If you are to be the Hat Creek Observer, read the observer's information kit.

Useful files

Preparing for your observations.

Before your observations begin
  1. If necessary, review array capabilities and correlator configurations.  To explore various correlator setups,  you may wish to use XCORF. If you really want to know how the correlator works, consult the on-line guide written by Jerry Hudson
  2. Write an observing command script to make your observations.
  3. Run it through the observing simulator, Checker.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your script successfully passes Checker and does what you expect.
  5. Submit your script before the script submission deadline to the $UOBS directory on Ask Marc Pound or Peter Teuben if you don't know how to do this.
During your observations
  1. You can monitor the progress of your observations with the java applet, JStatus.
  2. The data are archived in real-time at the BIMA Data Archive.  You can download your data from there as it comes in and review it with standard MIRIAD tasks.
After your observations are completed
  1. It is important that you examine your data as soon as possible after they are completed. Serious problems with the data should be reported immediately to Rick Forster, Helene R. Dickel, and Ed Sutton (the BIMA schedulers),  so that your project can be reobserved if necessary.  ("The data are not perfect" does NOT qualify as a serious problem).
  2. Once you have made your maps and analyzed the data, you should submit your images to the  NCSA Digital Image Library

Retrieving your data.

The real-time archiver transfers data from the Hat Creek Observatory to the NCSA archive server within approximately one minute of its recording by the telescope operating system (assuming the network is available and a backlog of data to be transferred does not exist).  BIMA memo #62 provides a more detailed description of the archiver and an analysis of  its performance.

To get your data, log in to   BIMA Data Archive.  (You must be  authorized  to log in). Detailed instructions are given there.

Reducing your data.

The standard way to reduce and analyze your data is with MIRIAD.  A cookbook has been written explaining the hows and whys of MIRIAD data reduction.   You can also use AIPS  or AIPS++(?) to
reduce the data. 

Programs to help you.

    CGI scripts:

  •   You can get the last 100 lines of the observing log file,  and look at the results from the current array or previous arrays.

  • Java:

  •  GetHA lets you to see how much time per track a given project is likely to be allocated.

  •  Calfind is a tool that allows you to see which planets and calibrators at any epoch) are located near your source.

  • JStatus  is a real-time array  monitor. 

  • A utility suite useful for the site observer. The tools are:
    • Xtango - a tool for plotting telemetry data.
    • Xfixwatch - for disabling/enabling watch sensor alarms.
    • Xplore - a calibrator locator.
    • Xscribe - a project scheduling tool.
  • Packages available for installation:

  • MIRIAD ( Multichannel Image Reconstruction, Image Analysis and Display ) is a toolbox, in the form of an environment with a large set of moderate-sized programs which perform individual tasks, involving calibration, mapping, deconvolution and image analysis of interferometric data. MIRIAD software is also part of the Hat Creek telescope control software; data obtained from the telescopes are directly written into MIRIAD format with a MIRIAD user interface.

  • WIP is an interactive package with a simple-to-use command line user interface used to produce publication quality graphical output. WIP is independent of MIRIAD, but it has been designed to handle images in MIRIAD format, hence is ideal for presenting your BIMA data in an eye-catching manner. Note: WIP comes bundled with MIRIAD. If you install MIRIAD, you do not need to install WIP separately.

  • XCORF is a Motif-based X-windows application used to explore and set up BIMA correlator configurations. It can write correlator "setup" commands which can be used in observing command files. The current version is 1.8 07-Oct-97. Note: XCORF comes bundled with MIRIAD. If you install MIRIAD, you do not need to install XCORF separately.

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Page last modified: Wednesday, 24-Sep-2003 10:25:09 EDT.