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Back to School2013


DAY 0: Sunday 28 July 2013

  • Arrive at CARMA. Campers go to Noren Campground [yellow marker on google map], in the Cedar Flat Group Camp 1 mile west of CARMA site after checking in at the CARMA Control building; others to dorm/cottage at OVRO as assigned by Mary Daniel.
  • Fixings for spaghetti dinner will be available on Sunday to cook yourself. You may also choose to eat before you arrive or go to a restaurant in Big Pine or Bishop.

DAY 1: Monday 29 July 2013

7am-8am Breakfast at CARMA Site or Owens Valley Kitchen

If you are staying in the valley, eat in the kitchen. If you are camping, eat in the CARMA control building.

8am Get settled in at CARMA site (Everyone)

On the first day of class only, we ask that everyone arrive at CARMA by 8am so that you can get seated, connect to internet, check your email, whatever, and be ready to focus at 9am.

9am Official Welcome (Nikolaus)

  • Go round the room and everyone introduce themselves.

9:15-10:15am Introduction (Melvyn)

  • Goals for the week
    • Get some data, reduce it, make maps
    • Student presentations on Friday
    • Write a CARMA memo
  • Astronomy from comets to cosmology
  • Emission mechanisms: thermal and non-thermal
    • source selection: astronomy, frequency, size, brightness sensitivity
  • Atmospheric windows at optical, IR, and radio frequencies
  • CARMA site characteristics

10:15-10:30 am Break

10:30-11:30 am Aperture Synthesis Basics (Melvyn)

  • Radio antennas: collecting area and resolution
  • Aperture arrays
  • Response of a 2-element interferometer to point source.
  • Coordinate systems: (u,v,w), u,v tracks for different arrays.
  • CARMA array characteristics. antennas, Rx bands, correlator.
  • Aperture Synthesis Imaging.

11:30-noon Example Observations (Nikolaus and students)

  • Explain what we will be observing and why
  • Simple quasar, planet, and/or Orion maser observation.

12pm - 1pm Lunch at CARMA Site

1:15-2:00 pm Simple Data Reduction (Nikolaus)

  • Using the data acquired this morning, we will walk you through very basic steps of data reduction and

imaging to give you a first taste of how it's done.

2:00-3:00 pm Observing Procedures (Melvyn)

  • Calibrations:
    • gain(t,f,p) - gain, bandpass, polarization, pointing.
  • Calibration intervals. V' = gain(t,f,p) x V + noise
  • Observing scripts
  • Selecting suitable observations for the target sources.
    • sensitivity
    • source size; mosaicing.

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 pm Group discussion selecting student projects. (Marc)

  • Discussion and selection of projects
    • Students decide on observing teams
    • After discussion period, each group should insert project via the proposal web page. The login/password will be given at the school.

5:00-6 pm Intro to preparing CARMA observing scripts (John)

Tutorial: generate the script for the first observing project. Afterwards student work on their individual scripts guided by staff.

6 pm Dinner at the CARMA site

Student projects observed on CARMA array overnight.

DAY 2: Tuesday 30 July 2013

7:30am-8:30am Breakfast at CARMA Site or OVRO Kitchen

8:50 am Announcements

9:00-9:45 am Introduction to MIRIAD (Doug)

  • Overview of data reduction procedure
  • Introduction to MIRIAD data reduction package.
  • Basic Miriad data format: header, history, visdata, gains, bandpass
  • Inspecting uvdata: uvindex, uvlist, uvplt, uvspec
  • Selecting uvdata: keywords select= and line=
  • Flagging bad data with uvflag, uvbflag, csflag
  • Antenna based calibration; selfcal and mfcal. gpplt. gains bandpass polcal
  • Rewriting edited data sets with uvaver, uvcat, uvcal

9:45-10:30 Observer's Everyday Responsibilities (Nikolaus)

  • creating master schedule and running observing scripts
  • deciding whether to do 1mm or 3mm
  • data quality reports
  • flux calibration/array health tasks

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:15 Students work on creating scripts with staff help

11:15-noon Imaging (Melvyn)

  • Review of basic math: brightness distribution is FT of visibility data.
  • FFT requires convolving onto a grid; choosing the pixel and image size.
    • mosaicing
  • invert; choice of natural, uniform, robust weighting, effect on the synthesized beam
  • deconvolution algorithms
    • clean, maximum entropy, mosaic deconvolution, image restoration

12 - 1 pm Lunch at the CARMA site

1:00-1:30 pm Look at colliding antennas

  • Sunscreen and hat recommended!

1:30-2:30 pm CARMA Hardware I. Receivers and Calibration (Dick)

  • Introduce system block diagram;
    • receiver, cal load, local osc, phaselocks, fiber, downconverter, correlator
  • receiver types:
    • bolometers, HEMT amplifiers, heterodyne rcvr, SIS mixers
  • cryogenics; closed-cycle refrigerators, compressors
  • receiver and system temperature
  • calibration

2:40-4:00 pm. Antenna tour (Dave Woody; Dick; James Lamb)

  • Visit to telescopes. Intro to antenna hardware. Bring hats and water. Wear sunscreen.

4:00-4:15pm Break

4:15-5:00 pm Example data reduction using student data (John)

5:00-6 pm students prepare observing scripts, analyze data.

6pm Dinner at the CARMA site.

Student projects observed on CARMA array overnight.

DAY 3: Wednesday 31 July 2013

7:30am-8:30am Breakfast at CARMA Site or OVRO Kitchen.

8:50 am Announcements

9:00-10:30 am Calibration (Melvyn)

  • Calibrations - gain, bandpass, polarization, pointing.
  • Antenna based calibrations: amplitude and phase closure
  • Atmospheric and instrumental phase characteristics
  • Tsys and Jy/K
  • Pointing
  • correlator calibration techniques.

10:30 am-10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:15 Polarization with CARMA (Dick)

12 - 1 pm Lunch at the CARMA site

1:15-2:15 pm CARMA Hardware Lecture 2 - Correlator (David Hawkins)

  • system block diagram
  • delays, 2nd LO lobe rotation, sideband separation
  • correlator modes
  • FPGA's

2:15-3:00 pm Correlator Tour (David Hawkins)

3:00-4pm Calibration and analysis of student projects (all)

4pm Take apart a dewar (Dick and students)

4pm-6pm Calibration and analysis of student projects (all)

  • Students prepare observing scripts, reduce and analyze data.

6pm Dinner at the CARMA site

Evening - Group Photo (all)

Student projects observed on CARMA array overnight.

DAY 4: Thursday 01 August 2013

7:30am-8:30am Breakfast at CARMA Site or OVRO Kitchen

8:50 am Announcements

9-10 pm Special Topics In Mapping (Melvyn)

  • The missing short spacing problem;
    • importance for getting correct answers for spectral index, etc;
    • negative sidelobes due to extended structure;
    • filling in missing spacings with larger single dish or Ekers-Rots scheme
  • Mosaicing: linear and nonlinear mosaicing schemes
  • Heterogeneous array imaging
  • Combining Single dish and interferometric data

10:00am - noon Students observe, reduce and analyze data, work on presentations and memo

12 - 1 pm Lunch at the CARMA site

1:15-2:15pm CARMA Hardware Lecture 3 - Local Oscillators, Phaselocks (Dick)

  • Review system block diagram
  • Local oscillator system
  • Phaselocks
  • Lobe rotation
  • Cable length measurement system
  • Sideband separation by phase switching

2:15 - 2:45 pm CARMA Future Plans (Nikolaus)

2:45 - 3:00 pm Break

3:00 - 3:45 pm The CARMA Computing System (Marc)

  • Control, Monitoring, Data Flow

3:45 - 6:00 pm Students observe, reduce and analyze data, work on presentations and memo

6pm Dinner at the CARMA site.

Student projects observed on CARMA array overnight.

DAY 5: Friday 02 August 2013

7:30am-8:30am Breakfast at CARMA Site or OVRO Kitchen

8:50 am Announcements

09:00-12 Student Presentations

  • Each observing team will give a 10-15 minute presentation on their project

12 - 1 pm Lunch at the CARMA site

1:15-4 pm Student Presentations continued

4-6 pm Analysis of student data and work on memo contributions

6 pm Dinner at the CARMA site

  • Drink Beer (provided :-)
  • Discuss hike options.

~7 pm Special Presentation: Lecture by Forest Service on Natural History of Bristlecone Area (John Louth & Dave Hardin)

Student projects observed on CARMA array overnight.

DAY 6: Saturday 03 August 2013

Group Hike

Our traditional hike is to Second Lake, in the Sierras above Big Pine - a round trip distance of about 10 miles, with 2500 feet of elevation gain. Generally one can get back to the cars at the trailhead by about 3 pm, making it possible (though tiring) to drive back to LA, the Bay Area, or Las Vegas on Saturday night.

An alternative shorter hike for those who have time constraints is the Bristlecone Pine 4-mile loop. The trailhead is near CARMA and the campground, about a 20 minute drive up White Mountain road to an elevation of about 10,000 feet. This hike takes about two hours.

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