RPICARD: A CASA-based Calibration Pipeline for VLBI Data
May 03, 2019
October 09, 2019
Currently, HOPS and AIPS are the primary choices for the time-consuming process of (millime-
ter) Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) data calibration. However, for a full end-to-end
pipeline, they either lack the ability to perform easily scriptable incremental calibration or do not
provide full control over the workflow with the ability to manipulate and edit calibration solu-
tions directly. The Common Astronomy Software Application (CASA) offers all these abilities,
together with a secure development future and an intuitive Python interface, which is very at-
tractive for young radio astronomers. Inspired by the recent addition of a global fringe-fitter,
the capability to convert FITS-IDI files to measurement sets, and amplitude calibration routines
based on ANTAB metadata, we have developed the the CASA-based Radboud PIpeline for the
Calibration of high Angular Resolution Data (rPICARD). The pipeline will be able to handle
data from multiple arrays: EHT, GMVA, VLBA and the EVN in the first release. Polarization and
phase-referencing calibration are supported and a spectral line mode will be added in the future.
The large bandwidths of future radio observatories ask for a scalable reduction software. Within
CASA, a message passing interface (MPI) implementation is used for parallelization, reducing the
total time needed for processing. The most significant gain is obtained for the time-consuming
fringe-fitting task where each scan be processed in parallel.
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