Image Fidelity

by Stephan W. Witz last modified Apr 04, 2012

With conventional point-source calibration methods, and even under the best observing conditions, the achieved dynamic range will rarely exceed a few hundred. The limiting factor is usually the atmospheric phase stability. If the target source contains more than 50 mJy in compact structures (depending somewhat on band), self-calibration can be counted on to improve the images. If the atmospheric coherence time is several minutes or longer, weaker sources can be used for self-cal; for shorter coherence times and less sensitive bands, stronger sources will be needed. Dynamic ranges in the thousands can be achieved using these techniques. With the new WIDAR correlator, much greater bandwidths and much higher sensitivities are available, and we expect self-calibration methods will be extendable to observations of sources with much lower flux densities than the current limits.